With colder weather just around the corner for many of us, it’s time to start thinking about all things winter! Besides hot chocolate by the fire and cozy sweaters, this season also means that you'll need to heat your home, which can get quite costly. To help reduce your monthly heating and energy bills, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for cutting that number down. Keep reading for all the best ways to do it.
Check Door Thresholds
If you can see daylight peeking through under any doors that lead outside, it means you’re losing heat! You want to ensure that the door is in loose contact with the threshold, sealing off the air from escaping your home. Many door thresholds are easily adjustable and have several screws that allow you to move the height, which is an easy way to keep heat from escaping. Once located, turn these screws counterclockwise and lift the threshold until it meets the bottom of the door. Be careful not to raise it too high, as it shouldn’t interfere with the act of opening and closing the door or cause the door to drag across the threshold.
Avoid Your Bathroom Fan
While many of us turn on a bathroom fan during and after a long hot shower to avoid a steamy room and mirror, it essentially sucks the heat out of that room the entire time the fan runs! Instead of flicking that switch every time you bathe, use a blow dryer on your mirror when you get out of the shower to clear it up. This is a small change, but proves to be an effective way to save over time!
Set Your Ceiling Fans Correctly
If you have ceiling fans in your home, there’s a way to use them that helps maximize the heat in your home during the winter months. Set them to move clockwise, which causes warm air within the room to be moved to the outside walls with a more even distribution.
Prepare Your Beds
Making the beds within your home as cozy and warm as possible during the winter means that you can turn your heat a bit lower at night, which will do wonders for your energy bill. Make a change to warm flannel sheets, swap out that light summer quilt for a heavy comforter, and even take some extra precautions: use a DIY rice heating pad to “preheat” your bed every night before you lay down for sleep. Warm this easy-to-make accessory up in the microwave for two to three minutes, pop it under the covers for five minutes, and your bed will be as warm as an oven when you’re ready to climb in!
Turn Down Your Water Heater
A typical hot water heater is set to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you dial yours back to about 120 degrees, you can reduce energy costs by a reported six to 10 percent each month. That means you’ll still have hot water, but a cheaper energy bill as well.
Change Your Furnace Filters Monthly
For a low cost, you can change your furnace filters every month and help the appliance run more efficiently. A clean filter allows your furnace to have better and more proper airflow, meaning it won’t have to work as hard to keep you and your loved ones toasty warm!
Heat Smaller Spaces as Needed
If you tend to use a small room more than larger ones in the home, it could be beneficial to invest in a small space heater. These devices will usually run you around $30. That means you can turn the thermostat down for the rest of the house while you’re in that small room, relying on your little heater for warmth. While this small helper does come at a cost to run, it’s likely not outweighing the cost you save in turning the heat down in the rest of your home.
Check Electrical Boxes
Another spot that may unexpectedly cause your home to lose valuable heat is your electrical outlets. Often, there isn’t sufficient insulation behind them. To ensure that they’re not the culprit of a chilly house, remove the cover plates and use acrylic latex caulk to fill in the gaps around the electrical boxes. If the spaces for filling are large, a foam sealant is most effective. Finally, place a foam gasket over the outlet and you’ll be on your way to a cheaper heating bill month after month!
Taking measures to reduce your heating bill doesn’t have to be a big project or something time-consuming. Instead, it’s as simple as following the tips mentioned above. Stay warm this winter without breaking the bank!