With fall already here and winter fast on its heels, there are lots of things to look forward to. The winter season brings the holidays, sweaters and scarves, and cozy nights curled up by the fire. Unfortunately, this blustery season also brings with it higher heating costs. It’s crucial to insulate your home and make it as energy efficient as possible. Follow these tips to save on winter heating costs.
1. Turn It Down
The most obvious way to keep heating costs low is to turn down your thermostat, especially when you’re at work, sleeping or on vacation. If you keep your thermostat below 65 degrees, you can get a better night’s sleep, prolong the life of your fridge and even help you lose weight (by forcing your body to speed metabolism to regulate its temperature)! When on vacation, you can safely set your thermostat as low as 55 degrees without your pipes freezing. According to Energy.gov, you can save 1 percent on your energy bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.
Another temperature to lower in your home is the one on your water heater. Whether gas or electric, set your water heater’s maximum temperature to 120 degrees to save money.
To decrease heating costs, another important tip is to keep your vents clear. If they are on the floor, make sure that they are not blocked by furniture or rugs. This will keep your heater from working overtime. Be sure to close the vents in rooms you don’t use, shutting the door and blocking the bottom of the door to keep warm air from getting into the unused room.
If you don’t use your fireplace, be sure to keep damper closed. Leaving the damper open is like leaving a 48-inch window wide open during the winter and can add up to hundreds of dollars in energy costs each winter.
4. Drafty Windows and Doors
If you’re not sure if your windows and doors are drafty, an easy way to check is by holding a candle near the frame and watching to see if it flickers. Once you’ve identified open areas, apply rubber weatherstripping to large gaps and fill in smaller areas with caulk. Another way to keep your home warm is by using heavy curtains as extra insulation on windows.
If warm air is escaping in gaps underneath your doors that weatherstripping can’t fix, roll up a hand towel and place it at the base. If you’re crafty you could even make a DIY draft snake.
5. Get Cozy
Since the reason we crank up the heat is to make ourselves warm, it makes sense to lower the temperature and simply wear some warm clothes. You don’t need to wear a parka around the house, but put on a sweater and some wool socks, or buy yourself a warm, fuzzy bathrobe to don when you’re padding around the house this winter.
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