If you already feel like you’re over budget on your heating bills for the season, there may be something you can do. In our area, high bills are common once temperatures begin to drop, and they’re only going up from here. But you probably don’t have to spend as much as you think. Check out our list of ways to save this year!
1. Warm up in other ways
There are so many ways to keep warm without worrying about that envelope from the utility company arriving next month.
- Wear layers!
- Keep throw blankets close to the living areas, so you head for these before turning up the thermostat.
- Open the windows to let in radiant heat from the sun in the day. (Keep thick drapes shut at night.)
- Seal drafts around the home with weather-stripping for doors and windows or caulk for small leaks.
2. Change the air filter regularly
A clogged air filter can, in fact, affect your heating. Too much dirt and debris block up the system, forcing it to have to work harder and consume more energy. You should change your furnace filter once a month or at least every three months.
3. Maintain the system regularly
Most experts recommend scheduling professional maintenance each year at the beginning of the cooling season. Changing the filter is only one important part of routine maintenance. Components wear down over the course of a winter in our area, but a quick tune-up may help them to run more smoothly and use less energy and fuel.
4. Turn down the thermostat
When all else fails, turning down the thermostat a bit is a great way to save. This is easier said than done, we know, so here are a few ways to modify your behavior to save energy from the thermostat.
- When you first arrive home, don’t immediately turn up the thermostat as high as you can. This won’t heat the home any faster. It only wastes energy, and you don’t need it that warm anyway.
- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat with Wi-Fi connectivity, if you don’t already have one.
- Use the programming settings on your thermostat to set a schedule for the week, so the home is prewarmed to about 68°–72°F when you arrive home, and 5°–10°F cooler when you’re away.