Winter is fast approaching, and with the cold comes high heating bills. However, with a little ingenuity and know-how, you can stay warm while still saving money. Here are several quick, simple and inexpensive ways to reduce your heating bills this winter.
Insulated curtains are not only decorative but actually work as a shield, keeping the cold out and the heat in. Leave the drapes open during the day time to allow the solar radiation to enter the room, heating it naturally. At night, drawing the curtains keeps the heat from escaping. You can also purchase specially insulated curtains designed to minimize heat loss.
Most of the cold air entering your home comes from cracks or drafts in windows and door walls. Sealing the edges of a window with inexpensive sealing tape will block up those drafts, keeping your room warm and cozy. If window drafts are an especially big problem, consider replacing them with special storm windows. While storm windows cost a little more, you’ll save money in the long-run in heating and electric bills.
Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
Why heat the house when you’re not there? A programmable thermostat will not only regulate the temperature of the home but can be programmed to lower the heat at certain hours, such as when you’re asleep or away at work. Even a difference of a few degrees at night can make a large difference in your heating bill.
Many people give little thought to their heating vents but a blocked vent can really have an effect on room temperature. Before the cold weather starts, check all vents to make sure they are in working order and free of dust or dirt. Remove furniture away from the vents so that the air can circulate properly. In addition, closing the vents in rooms that are rarely used will allow heat to warm up the most occupied rooms of the home.
Check the Furnace
You don’t want to be caught without heat on a chilly day. Dirty filters or an old, improperly working furnace lowers heat efficiency and leads to higher bills. Have a trusted expert inspect your furnace before the winter months to ensure that everything is in working order. Checking the furnace filters monthly and determining if they need changing is a small do-it-yourself project that will also save you money.
Dress for Winter
Dressing in warm clothing during the frigid months of winter sounds like a no-brainer but it really does keep your body warm and your heating bills down. If you hate layered clothing, or bulky sweaters, keeping your feet covered with a heavy pair of socks does wonders for your body’s core temperature and makes you feel warm all over.