Here are 10 easy ways I have found to save money on our monthly heating bill. We have natural gas and the best tip I have is to install a programmable thermostat. I did not know until last year you should open the cold air returns in the winter and close them in the summer!
1. Turn your thermostat down. If you are gone or working during the day, lower the heat setting by 5 degrees. At night drop the temperature by 2 degrees and add a blanket to your bed. Better yet, invest in a digital programmable thermostat.
2. Replace your furnace filter monthly. A dirty filter makes the furnace work that much harder. Mark it on your calendar as a reminder. Schedule routine preventive maintenance and cleaning by a professional at least once a year.
3. Add some humidity to the air in winter. Run a portable humidifier or vaporizer. After you run the dishwasher, open the door and let the dishes air dry. After you take a shower, open the bathroom door. But don’t run the exhaust fan in the bathroom for more than five minutes. Otherwise your heat is just going right out the vent!
4. If you have ceiling fans, adjust the fan blades to pull air up in the winter. This helps re-circulate the warm air that rises near the ceiling.
5. If you have a two- story house, check that the cold air vents on the second floor are open. This allows cold air to return back to your forced-air furnace.
6. Draw your blinds and curtains closed at night. On a sunny day, open your blinds and curtains and let the sun shine in.
7. When you are done with the clothes dryer, close the dryer door to keep cold air out. Clean your dryer lint filter regularly.
8. Apply plastic window insulation to drafty windows with double-sided tape. Most hardware stores sell shrink-wrap window kits. Check for missing and worn weather-stripping on windows and doors. Check that double-hung windows are fully closed and latched.
9. When you fireplace is not in use, make sure the flu is shut. If you don’t use your fireplace very often, a chimney cap is a good investment. They are usually spring-loaded and open from the inside with a chain.
10. Check into a fuel co-op at the start of the heating season. You may be able to buy your heating gas or oil at a fixed (reduced) price. Go on a gas or electric utility budget plan. The utility company will average your payments out over 12 months, so you won’t get stuck with such high winter bills.
Do you have any energy saving tips?