Winter is in full swing, and many parts of the country are feeling the full effect. Those cold mornings call for more heat for longer periods to knock off the chill make your house comfortable for the family.
But what about your heating bill? Just as the temperatures are going down, the heating bill is going up. The next trip to the mailbox may create an unexpected shock as you realize your heating costs for the month are up as much as 50% over the milder months.
What can you do about it? Believe it or not, there are some simple steps you can take to keep those heating costs down while still maintaining a warm, cozy environment inside the house. Consider these tips from thebalance.com:
- Turn the heat down at night and when no one is home. This doesn’t mean turn the heat to 40 degrees, but turning it down to 60 overnight or while you’re away can make a big difference. Think about it; why keep it 70 degrees when you’re either sleeping or out of the house for more than 12 hours a day? You can adjust the thermostat manually for free, but if you want to spend a few bucks a programmable thermostat is a great investment.
- Close any vents going to rooms that are not used regularly. That guest room that sits empty when you don’t have any guests? Close the door and the vents. Doing so can easily cut 100-200 square feet off of your energy footprint.
- Use silicone to fill any cracks in doors, windows, etc, including the basement floor and walls. You would be surprised at how much heat is lost through cracks that seem insignificant. A tube of caulk or silicone will only run you a few dollars and it’s an easy weekend project.
- After baking cookies or making dinner in the oven, leave the door open a crack. There’s a lot of heat in that oven, so letting it escape puts the heat to good use by warming up the kitchen and surrounding rooms meaning the furnace has to run a little bit less.
- Not all doors are used in the winter, nor are the windows, so plastic up the windows and doors that are going to go unused. There are window kits for sale for about $5 per window. These can help to eliminate drafts to keep in the heat!
Unlike Frosty’s old silk hat, there’s no magic in these tips – just good common sense. If you implement these free or inexpensive measures, you’ll see an immediate result in comfort and a much happier feeling when the bill arrives.
REID Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. HVAC Experts.