Do you want to learn 7 Tips to Slash Heating Bill? Those heating bills can really make a big dent in your budget. But it doesn’t have to! With a few tips and tricks, you can really slash the heating bill by a big chunk.
These ideas come at the perfect time too because we are officially in spring, but so many people are dealing with snow storms this year still! Even today, it’s snow in spring! So it makes it hard to blast the heater, but wanting to find ways to heat on the cheap.
So check out these ideas and start implementing today and every year – perhaps it will be a little more to add to the Christmas fund or the vacation fund…or to help you find your next 2% cut in your budget to meet your financial goals and pay off debt!
This guest post is brought to you by Jennifer, who is also experiencing cold weather like us, but across the country!
7 Tips To Slash Heating Bill
As I write this, it’s forecasted to drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in my hometown this weekend…and I’m in South Carolina! No matter where you live, winter will catch up to you at some point. Whether those temperatures drop for a few weeks or a few months, your heating bill still rises.
Here are some easy tricks and helpful tips that you can implement now to help prevent that feeling of impending doom from descending when you open next month’s energy bill.
1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Adding insulation to your home is by far the most cost-effective, reward-rich project you can do to quickly and easily lower your energy bills. Check the levels of insulation in your attic, walls and floors and beef them up if necessary. Many older homes may have inefficient levels of insulation, or the existing insulation may have become less efficient due to moisture or other factors. Replacing or augmenting existing insulation is simple to do yourself in attic spaces, but for walls and floors, you may need to hire some expert help.
The chart below illustrates the recommended R levels for standard homes. To see if yours is sufficient, all you need is access to the space and a tape measure.
Note from Alex and Cassie: after we paid off all of our consumer debts, one thing we invested in was extra insulation. We did it ourselves to save a ton of money. There are federal tax credits as well and you may even find some state tax credits.
2. Get Handy with a Caulk Gun
Sneaky air leaks in electrical outlets, lighting fixtures or places where cable, phone and other lines enter your home need to be hunted down and eliminated. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 20 percent on your heating bills by reducing these drafts.
Start by detecting the leaks around your home, then seal them up with a combination of a caulk gun and spray foam insulation, depending on the size of the hole. You can also pick up some foam gaskets to put under your electrical outlet cover for an extra layer of insulation.
3. Adjust or Upgrade Your Thermostat
Setting your thermostat eight to 10 degrees lower for eight hours a day (when you go to sleep or when you leave the house for work) can reap a savings of up to 10 percent on your heating bill over 12 months.
Investing $25 in a programmable thermostat will make this process a lot easier, so you’re more likely to see savings. A smart thermostat, such as the Nest Thermostat, learns your routines and adjusts itself based on occupancy and outside weather conditions. It could save 12 to 16 percent on your energy bills, although the upfront cost is significantly higher—usually around $250.
4. Service Your System
An annual tune-up of your HVAC system will help it operate more efficiently, thereby saving you money. Costing between $60 and $85, a tune-up will make sure the system is clean, safe and running at peak operating performance. The tech will also check that your thermostat settings are correct, all of which could add up to savings on your bill and safeguard against the unexpected expense of failures and breakdowns of your system.
5. Savor the Sun
Even in the winter, the sun’s rays will bring in considerable warmth. Open your south-facing blinds and curtains on sunny days to welcome the heat, but be sure to shut them before sunset so you don’t lose all that warm air.
6. Dress Up Your Windows and Doors
Windows are responsible for about a third of a home’s heat loss. If you can’t spring for double glazing this winter, help mitigate those dollars flying out the window by taping heavy duty clear plastic sheeting over the windows. This can save up to 14 percent on your heating bills and is simple and inexpensive to do. Also, consider adding insulating drapes over your large windows and doors, which the Department of Energy says can reduce heat loss by as much as 25 percent.
7. Switch Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer! Most have a small switch that will change the direction of the blades. In the winter, flip this switch and have your fan rotate clockwise. When running at a low speed, this creates a gentle updraft, forcing warm air near the ceiling down into the room.
If you can implement some or all of these tips before that cold weather settles in, you will see significant savings on your next energy bill while remaining warm and cozy throughout the season.
Note from Alex and Cassie: if you do the ceiling fan switcheroo – they may be dirty and dusty and switching directions sends the dust flying! Learn to clean your ceiling fans without hassle or mess with this ceiling fan cleaning trick.
Guest post by Jennifer Tuohy, an award-winning journalist who has 15 years’ experience in newspapers, magazines, marketing and online content. She writes on a variety of subjects, but her passion lies with technology, sustainability and the intersection of the two. She lives in Charleston, SC, where she contributes to numerous websites, edits two local newspapers and renovates her dream home. Jennifer also writes for the Home Depot, which carries a wide selection of insulation and materials to keep your home warm.