With cold weather here to stay for a few more months, home heating costs can soar as temperatures fall. Wondering how to save energy in winter and reduce monthly utility bills? Lower the heat when you’re not at home and make use of your fireplace to help reduce costs and save energy. Discover more ways to save on heating costs in winter with these helpful tips.
Save on Heating Costs in Winter With These Thrifty Tips
Though heating bills inevitably rise during colder months, they don’t have to be astronomical. Small adjustments and simple tips can save on heating costs in winter with little effort.
1. Turn the Heat Down When No One is Around
What’s the easiest way to reduce energy costs? Simply lowering the heat when you’re not at home can make a big difference. If you’re going to be out for the day or longer, lower the thermostat to 60 degrees to result in significant savings. Even when you’re home, try reducing the thermostat a few degrees and adding an extra layer. A comfy sweater or cozy blanket can be just as warm but uses no energy and saves money.
Similarly, lowering the heat to between 60-67 degrees at night, when you’re under the covers, also reduces monthly energy costs. Programmable thermostats that are set via smartphone can tailor settings to your schedule and result in almost $200 in savings per year.
2. Take Advantage of Natural Solar Heat
Lifting the blinds or shades and opening the curtains does more than brighten your mood. Letting the sunshine in also provides access to solar heat that can warm your home during the day without having to raise the thermostat. Continue to save on heating costs in winter by closing blinds, shades and curtains at night to trap heat inside.
3. Use the Fireplace Occasionally
Wondering how to save money on electric bill during winter months? If you have a fireplace or woodstove, now is the time to use it! Fireplaces or wood stoves can provide a romantic and cozy ambiance to any room. But, most importantly, they can be cost-effective ways to heat your home in winter, even heating whole floors in smaller homes.
Don’t forget to turn down the thermostat when the fireplace is operating so you don’t waste energy. Also, keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use so warm air doesn’t escape through the chimney.
4. Seal All Wall and Floor Cracks
As tiny as they are, small cracks in walls and floors can let large amounts of heat escape. Take the time to locate and fill these small gaps to lessen wasted energy.
Here’s how to lower electric bill in winter by sealing wall and floor cracks:
- Seal cracks with silicone: Specifically those cracks between the basement floor and walls.
- Check weatherstipping on exterior doors: Assess for damage, replacing as needed.
- Examine caulking around windows: Replace with fresh caulk to fill any cracks.
- Plug any wall holes: Even using spray foam to seal outlets between the metal outlet box and sheetrock can lessen heat loss.
5. Partially Close Unused Vents
It can be tempting to completely close vents in rooms that go unused. However, doing so can lead to a buildup of pressure in your HVAC system that can cause extensive damage. Instead of closing vents all the way, you can still save on heating costs in winter by leaving them partly open. This will allow for some air circulation and protect your heating system.
6. Minimize the Use of Kitchen and Bathroom Fans
As much as they reduce unwanted odor, kitchen and bathroom fans also draw out heated air, removing it from your home along with any smells. If you must use these fans during the winter months, use them sparingly for short periods of time. If you circulate air with ceiling fans during winter, make sure they rotate clockwise to push warm air down into the room.