Baby, it’s cold outside! Winter is upon us, and when the temperature outside begins to fall, our heating bills quickly start to rise. For many homeowners, keeping their house warm in the winter means paying a hefty heating bill. Luckily, there are some ways to help reduce those costs and keep a little extra cash in your pocket for a rainy (and possibly warmer!) day.
- Don’t be shade-y: Even though it may be cold outside, the sun still tries to peak through on occasion, bringing in warm rays that can offer some free heat. Open your curtains or blinds to welcome the sun into your home, especially on the south side of the house where you get more direct sunlight. Be sure to close them at night to reduce any possible drafts.
- Keep it covered and seal it up: Speaking of windows – did you know that they are said to account for 25% of heat loss in homes? Cover them up with some inexpensive clear plastic film to reduce the heat loss. It’s easy to apply, won’t harm your trim, and is even easier to remove come springtime. If you feel a cold draft near your windows, chances are cold air is not only coming in, but warm air is sneaking out. Use caulk to seal the area or hire a professional to repair any cracks or imperfections that may be causing an airflow problem.
- Temperature control: Programmable thermostats are not only convenient, but cost-effective! Turning the temperature down when your house is empty or while you’re sleeping (and under the covers) can noticeably cut down on your heating costs.
- Cool it: Did you know that the settings on your water heater could be affecting your heating bill? It’s true! Check your owner’s manual or ask an expert about the ideal settings for your water heater which, if turned down, may still be able to heat your water adequately while reducing your heating bill.
- Insulation information: Insulation is used to maintain your home’s temperature, and can be one of the quickest ways to reduce your bills and increase your comfort. Newer homes have the advantage of usually being better insulated than older homes because of stricter building energy codes, so older homes may require additional insulation to stay comfortable during the chill. Check with a local professional about upgrading or replacing your outdated insulation.
- Bundle up: This is one of the easiest tricks in the book! When your feet are cold, it affects your entire body, so throw on a pair of warm, comfy socks to stay toasty.