Every winter, homeowners across the country find themselves wishing that they could return to the halcyon days of summer—and not only because of the cold! Your heating bill in winter may very well be higher than you’d like it to be, and since turning the heat off isn’t an option in the middle of January, here are some helpful, simple tips for keeping your bills low in the snowy days of winter:
Dress For It
This may seem obvious, but hear us out. While dressing yourself in a sweater and thick socks is helpful, consider dressing your house for the weather, too. Putting down rugs helps to insulate your floors, and adding clear plastic sheeting over your windows is a great way to conserve energy at a negligible cost. Adding weather stripping to doors and windows will keep drafts and cold air from diminishing the heat you generate. And just like a good hat helps keep our whole body warm, effective insulation in your attic space will keep much-needed heat in your home instead of letting it escape. If you need to dress for the weather, odds are that your home does, too!
Make The Most Of Your HVAC
The easiest way to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck from your HVAC system is to routinely check your furnace before winter regular tune-ups go a long way toward keeping your system running smoothly. While most homeowners can handle little maintenance tasks like replacing air filters, a professional tune-up is vital in keeping your furnace at peak performance all winter. Scheduling yearly maintenance before winter starts in earnest is the best way to head any potential costly issues off at the pass.
Fire Up The Fireplace (The Right Way)
Have a fireplace? Wonder why it’s not doing more to help keep you toasty warm without adding to your energy bills? Using a fireplace properly can be more complicated than people realize! First, ensure that your flue is not open when it doesn’t need to be—it’s the same as having a window open in your living room when it’s not in use. In fact, if you’re not the type to use the fireplace, consider sealing the flue entirely to avoid heat loss. Second, be selective in the wood you choose to burn: pieces that range from 4 to 6 inches in diameter have more surface area exposed and will burn more cleanly. Little touches like tempered glass doors or better caulking on the mantle will also make more efficient use of your fireplace, allowing you to have the cosy winter nights you’re dreaming of. This guide from the U.S. Department of Energy is a great resource for novice fireplace users.
Snow angels, hot chocolate, and tobogganing are all great parts of the winter months. High heating bills are not. Instead of stressing out over being comfortable, take simple steps like learning better fireplace practices, insulating your home properly, and heating selectively to keep your bills low. After all, the only thing better than a warm, cosy living room while it snows outside is a warm, cosy living room that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg!