Smart Strategies to Control Heating Costs This Winter

While replacing your furnace or boiler with a new, energy-efficient model, installing new windows and doors, re-insulating your attic, or upgrading to solar panels will have the greatest impact on heating costs, they’ll also have the greatest impact on your bank account. Smart homeowners can still reduce their heating bills with these simple, easy strategies.

Manage Windows

Manage your windows and doors to significantly reduce the demand for your heating system. First, seal up any drafts with caulking or weather stripping. Attend to older windows with removable silicone caulking, weather stripping, or a plastic film window insulation kit. After drafts are addressed, put your curtains or shades to work for you. During daylight hours, open wide anywhere the windows will let in the light. The sun shining in through the windows will warm your home, taking a bit of pressure off the heating system. In the evenings, as temperatures drop, close them to add a layer of insulation, keeping the warmth inside.

Reduce Space

Reduce the amount of heated space to reduce costs as well. Close vents or doors to unused spaces like guest bedrooms (ensure temperatures remain above 50°F/10°C). Consider a space heater, like a radiant oil heater, to keep a particular area warm. For example, if your family gathers in the living room every evening, the house can be maintained at an overall lower temperature and the living room can be kept a little warmer and more comfortable with a space heater during your evenings together.

Focus on People

Focus your efforts on people rather than the space to ensure everyone stays cozy, even with the thermostat set a couple of degrees cooler. To keep everyone comfortable, don your warm sweaters and fuzzy slippers, break out the snuggly blankets, and cozy up with a warm drink. Make your bed with flannel sheets and cozy blankets – for an extra cozy bedtime, warm up the bed with an electric blanket 15 minutes before bedtime. Even adding rugs to hard floors can change the way you feel in your home. A programmable thermostat can help warm things up when people are home, ensuring maximum comfort, and then automatically reduce the heating temperature again when everyone is away or asleep.

There’s a long list of little ways to improve your home’s efficiency, what are your favorite tips and tricks to manage heating bills?

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