As the weather shifts and the days (and nights) get colder, we start to think about how much it’s going to cost to heat our homes this winter. You probably associate heating your home with spending a lot of money. But there are some simple things you can do reduce your heating cost. Here are 8 easy ways to reduce home heating costs this winter.
8 Easy Ways to Reduce Home Heating Costs
Lower your thermostat
It probably seems obvious that the lower you set your thermostat, the less you’ll pay in heating.
Slowly lower the temperature that your family is used to by one degree at a time. One degree lower will feel a little different but it won’t be a huge shock.
Take advantage of your sleeping hours by bundling up in blankets and lowering your thermostat by 2 degrees – or 3 if you’re up for it!
If you invest in a digital thermostat, you can set this change on a timer so that the temperature automatically drops at a certain time at night and then rises again at a set time each morning.
Don’t heat an empty home
Take advantage of that smart thermostat again to set a schedule for the heat to drop to a much lower temperature (like 63, for example) when no one is usually home. Set the thermostat schedule to rise again right before your family usually starts coming home for the day.
What if you don’t have a smart thermostat?
Use the good ol’ manual method. As you’re walking out the door for the day, turn down the thermostat setting. If your spouse leaves the house after you, assign them the responsibility. And maybe leave some reminders around to help them remember to do it.
Let the sunshine in
Open your blinds during the day and let that warm, free sunlight in! It’s amazing the difference that this can make in the warmth of a room. Think about where the sun is hitting your home and pay special attention to the windows on that side of your house.
But don’t leave your blinds and curtains open at night. You want to trap the heat in so it doesn’t escape out through your windows.
Wear warm layers
Dress for the cold temperatures, and then some! Pile on the warm layers and you’ll find yourself wanting to turn the heat down so you don’t feel too warm. It’s like a magic trick.
Oh, but it only works if the whole family is dressed warmly! So get your clan on board for this one.
Turn on the ceiling fan
It might seem silly to run the fans when it’s cold but remember that warm air rises. Reverse your ceiling fans and run them on low. They’ll work to push the warm air back down into the room and allow it to heat evenly.
Cuddle up under some blankets
Throw some warm blankets on the back of the couch or keep some in a basket in the corner of the room. Get in the habit of cuddling up under the warm blankets every time you sit down in the living room. It’s such an easy (and cozy) way to stay warm!
The cold months are a great time to use your oven and it has the added benefit of adding heat to your home. If you’ve got food to make anyway, the warmth is a great added benefit. If there are no children in your home, leave the oven cracked open after cooking. Make sure it’s off. The heat inside will continue to flow into the room.
Seal air leaks
Check your windows and identify any areas that are leaking. Then spend a few dollars on a tube of caulk and reseal any windows that are letting that cool air in.
If you find that air is coming in through your door frames, you should repair any cracks in those areas as well. If the air is coming in through the bottom of the door, use old towels or an old pool noodle to block the bottom of the door.
Not only will these small improvements keep the cold air out, they’ll keep the warm air in where you want it.
A little effort goes a long way
All of these strategies will take a little work, but that effort will go a long way in reducing your winter heating bills. Start by adapting your family to a lower temperature and consider investing in a programmable thermostat. Harness the heating power of the sun and your oven. Keep yourself warm by dressing in warm layers and using blankets. And repair any areas that are allowing air to leak into your home. These small changes will definitely be worth it when you’re able to pay less to heat your home.