Summer has officially ended, and cold weather is right around the corner. The climate change means leaves shifting colors and swapping out your favorite sandals for boots, but it also means rising energy costs. For many, heating a home is their most expensive utility bill, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 8 great tips for cutting back your winter heating costs.
Leave the oven cracked
Have you ever stood in a kitchen while the oven is in use? If you have, then you know how uncomfortably warm it can soon become. Next time that you cook, leave the oven door slightly cracked when you’re done. This will allow the hot air to escape into your home as your oven cools, allowing you to turn your thermostat down a few degrees without getting cold.
Let the sun shine in
Opening your curtains during the day can help lower your energy bill in two ways. The natural light from the sun illuminates the rooms in your home, giving you light without burning electricity. Natural sunlight is also a great for providing extra heat, keeping you warm without hurting your pockets.
Plug it up
Sealing gaps in your doors and windows keeps the draft out and your heat in. This is quick, easy, and can be done with a cheap can of silicone or caulk from your local Home Depot or Lowes.
Turn down the heat
This the most obvious, yet most neglected method for saving money on energy costs. Every time that you leave the house, turn the heat down or completely off. It usually doesn’t take long for a house to warm up once you return, and there’s no point wasting electricity when you’re not there to enjoy it.
Heated blankets are your friend
Before you go to bed, turn down the heat in your home and plug up an electric blanket instead. Not only are they extremely comfortable, but they’re energy efficient as well. You can also use them during the day when you’re lounging around the house to cut your heating costs even more.
Change your air filter
A dirty air filter can keep your heating system from working properly. Make sure that you’re changing them according to the manufacturer’s directions to insure that your heating system is working to its full capacity.
Close unused vents
If you have a guest room, utility room, or other spare room that isn’t regularly in use, close the vents. Doing so can cut back anywhere from 1 to 200 square feet of heating space
Ask For Help
As a last resort, contact your local government. Many agencies have energy assistance programs to help senior citizens and low income families with heating expenses during the winter.