If you’re frustrated with the size of your latest heating bill, there are steps you can take so that you’ll be forking over less of your paycheck to the energy titans this winter. Here are some things to consider:..
Turn your thermostat down a few degrees and wear more layers of clothing to keep you snug. Doing this doesn’t mean turning the heat down so low that you see your breath inside or anything like that. If just means there are other ways to make yourself warm besides turning the thermostat up, and one of them is wearing more clothing.
If your thermostat is programmable, and you and your family (or roommates) are gone for a big chunk of each day, you can set your thermostat to automatically go to a lower setting for the hours that you’re away and automatically revert to a higher temperature at a set time each day. Why heat the home to your comfort level when nobody’s there? It should only take about 15 minutes for a home to heat up once the thermostat’s turned back up again.
Turn your thermostat down a few degrees when you go to sleep. Snuggle under a nice down comforter to keep warm. A slightly cooler sleeping environment will lower your heating bill, and is supposed to be healthier anyway.
If your attic isn’t insulated, get that taken care of right away.
If your windows are old and/or drafty, repair or replace them. If you replace them, there are windows on the market today that are airtight and very energy efficient.
If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, use it. And be sure that the flue closes completely when it’s not in use. If it doesn’t help if you reduce oil use by heating with wood if cold air flows down the flue when the stove or fireplace is not in use.
Do you have a ceiling fan? If not, install one. Remember how heat rises? A fan will get all the warm air stuck up by the ceiling circulating around the house, and your heating system won’t have to work as hard.
Have a professional visit your home to do an audit. A trained person can check for leaks in your heating ducts, under the house, behind electrical outlets-essentially all kinds of places you wouldn’t think to look. The advisor can also evaluate your home’s heating system and insulation overall and make valuable suggestions.
Try just a few of these things, and you should see your heating bill drop.