It can be your biggest dilemmas come this winter: Do you freeze in your home to save yourself up to $500 on heating bills? Or do you heat up your home and pay the money? How about a third option? You can heat up your home and keep warm this winter and save money while doing it. You just have to be smart about it. Here are 10 things you can do to save money on your winter heating bills.
- Change the Door Thresholds
According to Popular Mechanics, if a trickle of light seeps in under your front door, you’re wasting heat. This in turn costs you money in higher heating bills. A quick way to solve this problem is by either changing the door’s threshold or by going with a low-tech option and getting something like a rug to put in front of the door to seal up the space.
- Use Space Heaters
Heating your whole house can cost you big bucks. Instead, think about having space heaters in the most popular (and most used) rooms of your home. This allows you to turn down the central heating. And despite using the extra electricity to run the heaters, the cost of electricity is still usually less than the cost of running the central heat throughout the house. Usually space heaters will run you about $20 to $30 a piece.
- Keep Your Furnace Tuned Up
Speaking of your furnace, if you do run it, you’ll at least want to make sure that you have clean or even new filters when it comes time to turn it on. The Consumer Energy Center website says that doing this alone will save you 5% on your heating costs when the snow starts to fall.
- Bundle Up
The Balance website recommends getting warmed up the old-fashioned way – by bundling up. Wearing a hat, thick socks, and a sweater is a legit way to keep warm and lower your heating bills at the same time. Make sure your family is on board as well. One person bundling up while everyone else just cranks up the heater defeats the purpose.
You can save some additional cash by looking for these items on sale or at discount shops. Even your local dollar store sometimes carries sock bundles, hats, and scarves. Keeping warm doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and given how cheap these items can be, you can even afford to buy some of these items in a holiday motif.
- Warm Up Your Decor
And if you think bundling your body up against the cold makes sense, why not also do the same for your home. Insulated curtains, afghans thrown on the back of the couch, flannel sheets, and throw rugs all make your home warmer without adding much to your expenses past your initial investment in these items.
- Change the Direction of Your Fan
Who knew that your ceiling fan could keep you as warm in the winter? It can, according to U.S. News and World Report. A fan set to clockwise will trap the heat in the lower parts of the room rather than allowing the warm air to escape.
- Make Sure You’re Insulated
It’s pretty much common knowledge that adding insulation and window coverings can help lower your heating costs. However, Money Crashers advises that you also remember to insulate your attic. That’s where most of your home’s heat will escape to. Adding extra insulation and plastic to the windows plus winterizing your fan goes a long way toward reducing your energy bills during the winter.
- Change Out Your Light Switches and Outlets
It turns out that your plugs and light switches can be a source of heat-escape in your house. Specialized switch plates will remedy this problem. Just go to your neighborhood home store to find them.
- Harness the Power of the Sun
The great outdoors might look like a winter wonderland, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use what sun there is. One of the chief ways to harness the power of the sun is to put in solar panels. While solar panels can be speedy – up to $25K or more for a system, there are ways to pay for it. Ideally, you’ll have saved up for this. However, if you haven’t, no problem. A title loan is a quick way to get a down-payment for a system. You might also work out a payment plan for the rest.
Aside from putting solar panels on your home, which capture the sunlight that does exist in the winter, you can also just open the curtains. Do this on a sunny day, especially if the window if facing your home’s south side. Close your curtains back up again come nightfall.
- Keep Your Water Heater Warm
Insulating your water heater can save you as much as 9% in heating costs. Look for water heater jackets to keep your tank warm. These handy coats-for-your-heater stop heat loss out your water heater unit by as much as 45%.
Heating your home during the winter doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Winterizing your home by adding insulation to your walls, attic, and water heater can save you some serious cash. As well, dressing you and your home warm will further keep your heating costs under control. Finally, space heaters, a furnace tune-up, and even solar panels can help save you cash this winter.