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Smart Ways To Reduce Your Heating Bill This Winter

If you’re living in regions that experience extreme temperature shifts, heating expenses can be one of the most significant components of your energy bill. But you don’t have to let the winter season eat up your budget. There are inexpensive means of improving your home’s energy efficiency so that your heater doesn’t have to work too hard to keep your house warm and cozy inside.

Try some of these ways of reducing wasted energy and lowering your overall heating costs during the colder days of the year.

Make Professional Maintenance a Habit

A few weeks before the winter season starts are the perfect time to have your HVAC serviced. Yes, not just your home’s heating but its cooling system as well. Regular maintenance is the secret to extending the life of your new AC unit system and ensuring that your heater works like a charm throughout the cold months.

Many homeowners neglect the professional maintenance not knowing that doing so may only lead to more costly repairs in the future. For a reasonable price, an HVAC expert can visit your home to check and clean your entire system and make sure that everything is functioning with the maximum efficiency.

A clean and well-maintained heating system effectively converts energy into heat. It will need less power to make your place comfortable during winter nights, thus saving you money on your heating bills.

Don’t Forget the Furnace

Clogs in the furnace reduce their heating efficiency, so always check your furnace and clean it when it looks dirty. Also, inspect it at least once a month, even if it’s not in use.

If your furnace is already a few years old, start scheduling for annual cleaning and tune-up to keep it working at peak levels. Newer furnaces have generally higher fuel utilization efficiency but in case buying a new one isn’t an option, you can upgrade some of its parts and make them more fuel and energy-friendly. You can switch from standing pilot light to spark igniter, for example, or install a flame retention burner on your oil furnace.

Give Your Thermostat a Break

Admit it; you tend to crank up the thermostat to warm the room faster, especially at night. And while there is nothing wrong with wanting to sleep in ultimate comfort, this habit has a direct effect on your utility bills.

According to the U.S Department of Energy, turning down your thermostat about 10 or 15 degrees while you sleep will save you at least 10% on your heating costs. To keep yourself warmer in bed, invest in thicker sheets and comforters.

Fill in the Gaps

You’re already spending a good amount of money in heating your house; you better make sure that heat doesn’t seep out. Leakage is one of the most common reasons why the room is not heating up as fast as it should. Your home loses 10-20% of its heat because of poorly sealed windows, while a smaller percentage is due to warm air leaking through power sockets, recessed light fixtures, and gaps in the structure.

Find air leaks

To prevent warm air from leaking out, check for unwanted holes, gaps, and drafts and seal them with caulk, expanding foam, or foam strips. Also, keep your blinds and curtains closed especially at night when they are not in use, and the temperature is at its coldest.

Stop Heating an Empty House

It’s often easy to forget to turn down the thermostat when you’re almost late for work and rushing out the door. If you want one less thing to worry about in the mornings, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Setting your thermostat down to 10 degrees when there’s nobody at home should cut 15% off your heating consumption.

If your house has storage and guest rooms that you probably won’t use during the winter season, you may also want to seal the vents in those rooms so that most of the warm air flow is directed into the spaces you frequently use.

Insulation Is Key

Most modern houses are already well insulated, usually with fiberglass or expanded polystyrene. However, you can still improve your home’s insulation so that it retains heat better. Something as simple as using thick curtains or double-glazing your windows with transparent polyethylene film can make your home more energy efficient.

But it’s not just your house that you have to insulate. The pipes and water heater need insulation too. Covering your water heater with fiberglass insulation and wrapping the pipes with insulating blankets will make it easier for your heater to produce hot water.

Let the Water Heater Cool Down

Water heater comprises about 20% of your home’s energy use during the cold months. One important thing you have to know about water is that it takes a lot of energy to warm up, but it also does not cool down quickly, which makes it an ideal energy storage medium. Taking advantage of this distinctive characteristic, you can reduce your water heating costs by lowering the water temperature down to 140°F or 60°C. Every 10°F or 5.5°C reduction, you can save about 5% in heating expenses.

Get Yourself a Humidifier

Humidifiers are a great addition to any home. Not only do they make the air easier to breathe, but they also reduce static electricity and the chances of having dry skin.

Moist air feels warmer and is better at retaining heat. During the winter season, using humidifiers helps cut your heating bills because they keep the warm air in and make rooms feel cozier. Having a humidifier at home lessens the need to crank the thermostat up all the time.

Bundle Up

After spending a long day at work, the first thing you might want to do is shed that sweater and bask in the warmth and coziness of your home. But if you’re going to cut your heating expenses some more, you might want to consider keeping a sweater on. Drop your thermostat to the 60 or 70° range and wear socks and warm clothing throughout the day instead. Bundling up even when you’re indoors may take some getting used to, but some sacrifices are necessary if you want to save money.

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