How to Reduce Your Heating Bill in the Winter
For many residents of Delaware, winter is one of their favorite seasons. What’s better than enjoying a hot cup of cocoa by the fireplace? But for others, DE winters bring with worries about the costs associated with heating your home. If you’re looking for tips on how to reduce your heating bill this winter, the following approaches are sure to help you save more than a few dollars in the long run.
Winterize Your Home
If you want to keep your Delaware home as warm as possible without a heating bill that’s too high, winterizing your home is an excellent place to start. Winterizing involves both ensuring your home’s insulation is adequate and that you don’t have any air gaps in your home that can let in drafts.
For insulation, make sure your attic, walls, and floors are properly insulated, either adding insulation yourself or having a contractor do it for you. This insulation will make it easier for your home to retain heat. Likewise, checking for air leaks around windows, doors, and vents can help you identify problem areas that you can use caulk or weatherstripping to seal.
Once you’ve ensured your home is well-sealed and properly insulated, it’s time to turn your attention to your thermostat. You will need to set the internal temperature of your home thermostat to around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is widely considered to be the ideal temperature for your home in the winter. If you keep the temperature above this point, you’re likely to spend more on heating for minimal benefit.
A good way to take some of the guesswork out of your home’s internal temperature is to use a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can help you save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature of your home when you’re asleep or away. There’s no need to keep your home at 68 degrees if you’re going away for the weekend, for example. This will help you save even more on your heating bills.
Use Passive or Alternative Heating Methods
If you want a boost to your home heat, you can use alternative heating methods like passive solar heating. By opening up your curtains and blinds during the day, you’ll let sunlight in that will also warm the house. You can retain much of this heat by closing your curtains or blinds after the sun has set.
If you have a fireplace or a woodstove, you can also use this as an alternative source of heat. Be sure your fireplace or woodstove is properly ventilated and in good condition so that the smoke from your fire leaves your home. Also, be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergencies. A similar approach is to use a space heater for the room you’re in, while keeping the rest of the home a bit cooler.
Service Your Furnace Regularly
Whether you’re using natural gas or oil to heat your home, be sure your furnace receives regular servicing to keep it in good working order. The last thing you want is to have your furnace break down on one of the coldest nights of the winter. While preventative maintenance may feel like an extra cost, it keeps your system running more efficiently for longer, ultimately saving you much more than it costs.
While you should always rely on a certified HVAC professional to service your furnace, there are some maintenance tasks you can do yourself if you’re comfortable enough. One of the most important ways to keep your furnace running well is to check and replace your air filters regularly. Dirty filters can make your furnace work harder by restricting airflow, so change your filter every 1 to 3 months. You can change it more often if you have allergies or pets.
Burns & McBride has been servicing furnaces in the Delaware area for more than 70 years. To keep your system running well for as long as possible, talk to us about proper maintenance.
Personal Changes to Your Lifestyle
Another excellent method to reduce a heating bill that’s too high is to make personal changes to your lifestyle. Good examples include dressing in warmer layers while inside during the winter months, as this will keep you warmer without having to set the thermostat quite as high.
Other ways to save include turning off your lights when you leave a room, or unplugging electronics while they’re not in use. You can also take shorter showers to reduce your reliance on your water heater. While these cost-cutting measures won’t directly reduce your heating bill, they can reduce your overall energy bills, perhaps allowing you to better afford a higher heating cost when needed.
Other Ideas for How to Reduce Your Heating Bill in Winter
There’s even more you can do if you’re looking for help on how to reduce your winter heating bill. One good idea is to get a home energy audit, as this can help you identify areas of your home where you can save energy. Qualified auditors can come to your home and assess your energy use before making recommendations on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
One of the ways an energy audit can help you is in identifying if it’s time to update your furnace if you have an existing one that’s old and inefficient. The money you spend on a new furnace is certainly an investment, but a new, more energy-efficient furnace will help you save on your heating costs for years afterward in ways that easily help a new furnace pay for itself more than a few times over.
Start Saving on Heating Costs This Winter
No one likes being cold and uncomfortable during the winter because it costs too much to heat their home. Yet you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on heating this winter if you review your home and make a few key changes where they’re needed most. Tips like winterizing your home by ensuring it’s well insulated and sealed against outside air and setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or less are good places to start, but remember all the other steps you can take as well. Turn to your local home energy service and maintenance contractor for more ways. By following these tips, you can help to reduce a heating bill that’s too high and save money this winter.