Depending on your location and climate, your heating and cooling costs may fluctuate greatly from season to season. Warmer climates tend to see high costs in summer months, whereas areas that have very cold winters see their costs rise during winter months. Keeping the costs down during peak seasons can be difficult for homeowners as they need to adequately heat or cool their home to keep it at a comfortable level.
It is already getting pretty chilly in some areas of the country and residents are beginning to turn on appliances to keep their homes warm. Here are some tips to keep in mind this winter to keep your heating cost at a reasonable level and not see too much of a spike.
- Lower your thermostat. Your body will hardly notice a change if you slightly lower your thermostat but your bill will definitely notice the change. You can eliminate about 5-10% of your heating bill by lowering your thermostat by just a few degrees. It is especially important that you further lower the thermostat if you leave your home for several hours.
- Keep the heat in. Don’t let the heat escape unnecessarily by leaving windows or doors open while the heat is on. Also make sure to turn off bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans if they are not needed. This will help to keep the heat within the home and allow it to warm up much quicker.
- Learn to love socks. Your whole body’s temperature is affected by the temperature of your feet. If your feet are freezing, it’s likely that the rest of your body will also feel cold. Try staying warm around the house with a nice pair of socks and maybe even some slippers. If that’s not enough… bundle up in a cozy sweater or blanket.
- Use curtains wisely. Using your curtains appropriately will help maintain a warm temperature within the home. Opening the curtains during the day, especially those on south facing windows, allows the rays of the sun to help warm the living space. Closing curtains at night prevents the heat from easily escaping and keeps the cold air outside at bay.
- Turn down your water heater. Similar to lowering your thermostat, if you lower the temperature of your water heater you will probably not notice a difference but your utility bill will. Most water heaters are preset to 140 degrees Fahrenheit but by lowering the temperature to about 115-120 degrees you will see a decrease in your power usage.
- Spin your ceiling fan in the right direction. In warm weather you want the ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise so that the air gets pushed downward to create a nice breeze. The opposite is true for cold weather. During winter months, reverse the fans direction so that it spins clockwise at a low speed. The blades will push the air upwards and the reverse air circulation will help to push the warm air downwards.
- Plug the leaks. Small gaps can make a big difference in ability for your home to stay warm. To solve this problem you first must find where the leaks are. The spots are easily found by lighting a candle, holding it near windows and doors, and see if the flame moves in a horizontal direction. If so, you have spotted an air leak and it is a likely spot where heat is easily escaping your home. To fix the leak, install low-cost caulking or weather-stripping. The easy repair can save you 10% on your heating bill.