Autumn and winter bring many joys, but your home's heating bill is not one of them. While you may feel some relief at finally being able to give the air conditioner a break, soon enough the temperatures will start falling and you'll need to fire up the furnace. Luckily, you can save money on your heating bill without having to make major investments or improvements. Let's take a look at a few low-cost, or even free, strategies for lowering your heating bill this winter and keeping more of your money in your pocket.
Leave the Oven Door Open
People often focus on their kitchens as an area for improving functionality and efficiency. In fact, 14% of homeowners in 2018 planned to make improvements to their kitchens. While these improvements can transform a homeowner's kitchen into one they've always dreamed of, they often come with a hefty price. To lower your heating bill this winter, you don't have to spend any money in the kitchen and can instead make better use of an appliance you already use in there.
After you make dinner or bake holiday treats in the oven, try leaving the door open a crack. Your oven generates and holds a lot of heat. By letting it escape into the kitchen and warm it up, you're putting that heat to good use. Your kitchen and any surrounding rooms will make use of the oven's heat and your furnace will be able to run a little less.
Use Ceiling Fans for Circulation
You may only be used to running the ceiling fan to cool off in the warmer months, but keeping it on in the winter can help circulate warm air in your home. Try setting your ceiling fans on low and make sure they're rotating clockwise. This will force the warm air that rises and gets trapped near the ceiling downward, making your home feel a bit warmer.
Clean Heating Vents and Radiators
Your heating system can only perform its best when it's free of dust and debris. Just as one compromised part of an air conditioning system can force it to work harder, reduce energy efficiency levels, and increase energy bills, a clogged-up heating system will struggle more to efficiently heat your home. Get your heating system to work as efficiently as possible by frequently cleaning the built-up dust out of your radiators and baseboard heat vents.
If you're willing to spend a little money, you could call a heating professional to take a look at your system before winter comes in full force. While you will need to pay the professional, they will be able to ensure that your system is running as efficiently as possible to save you money in the long-run. They can also perform preventative maintenance to help ensure that your heating system doesn't give out during the cold winter months.
Lower the Thermostat
This is one of the easiest and most effective tricks to saving money on your heating bill. You can save up to 3% on your heating bill for each degree you lower your thermostat over a 24 hour period. If you don't have any pets at home, try to lower the thermostat every time you leave the house so that you aren't heating the home unnecessarily. You can also lower it at night when everyone is sleeping.
Weatherstripping is a flexible product that attaches around windows and doors with a self-adhesive. By installing weatherstripping around the tops, sides, and bottoms of windows and doors, you can lessen the amount of heated air that escapes from your home. It will also help prevent cold drafts from coming in. The concrete that makes up the floor of your garage or the steps outside of your front door may be the most used manmade material in the world, but it tends to hold on to frigid temperatures. You can keep the coldness from the concrete outside where it belongs with weatherstripping.
The cost of weatherstripping will vary depending on the type you use, but it is typically about $10 for a 10-foot roll. This small investment could lead to major savings on heating, especially if you live in an older home with large gaps around doors and windows. You can also install door sweeps, or door shoes, to further insulate your doors, but this will cost a bit more.
If you always find yourself dreading the high heating bills of winter, mitigate your fears with these money-saving strategies. Every small effort counts and will contribute to a significantly lower heating bill this winter.