How to Save Money Heating Your Home This Winter
More of your monthly budget is going to go towards heating your home this winter. That’s a fact, unless somehow, we have an unseasonably warm winter. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), the price of heating is going up, due to increased demand, no matter how you heat your home. Here are the numbers:
- Propane (+54%)
- Home heating oil (+43%)
- Natural gas (30%)
- Electricity (6%)
Yikes. The good news is, by following these tips, you can reduce your heating bills this winter, while still staying comfortable.
1. Bundle Up
This should be a no brainer. Before you turn up the heat, put on a sweater, sweatshirt, or fleece. Make sure everyone in your home is in long sleeves and long pants with an extra layer. There is no need to keep your home so warm that people can comfortably walk around in shorts and short sleeves.
Don’t forget your feet – thicker socks, or winter slippers can keep your whole body warm by keeping your feet warm.
2. Make Use of Winter Bedding and Throw Blankets
Change out the summer percale sheets to flannel sheets or microfleece sheets. If you’ve never had flannel sheets, you’re missing out. Also, make a point to have throw blankets available in your living room or anywhere else you have chairs or a couch.
3. Seal Leaks
If you have old, drafty doors and windows, replace them if you have the money. But if you don’t, you can still seal some of the leaks and block some of the drafts without spending a lot. Caulk visible gaps around windows and doors, and use weather stripping where applicable. Use door draft stoppers where a draft is coming in at the bottom of the door.
4. Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, get one. They can help greatly reduce your heating AND cooling bills. In the winter, set the thermostat schedule to a few degrees lower while you’re sleeping in your flannel pajamas in your bed with flannel sheets.
Set the temperature lower in the daytime and evenings when you are home as well. Remember, you’re dressing in layers. And if you’re going to be away from home for more than a day or two, use the Vacation Mode, and lower the temperature to as low as 60 degrees. This will save you a bundle, but is still warm enough to keep pipes from freezing.
Be sure to take into consideration if you’re leaving a pet or houseplants behind, in which case you probably don’t want to set it lower than 65 degrees.
5. Change the Filter
Unless you have a super-efficient filter meant to last 90 days, you should check (and change) your filter every 30 days – more often if you’re allergic to dust and you suddenly have major allergy symptoms.
Your furnace works harder with a dirty filter, which costs you more money.
6. Keep Vents Clear
Be sure that furniture and curtains don’t block floor or baseboard vents. What’s the use of heating the bottom of a chair? And make sure the heat registers and dampers are fully open so you’re getting every bit of warm air circulating.
7. Use Curtains and Shades to Your Advantage
On sunny days, keep the curtains and shades open to let the warmth into your home. Close them at night to add a layer between the cold outside and the warm inside. If you have drafty windows even after sealing, this will help.
8. Use a Space Heater
While heating with electricity is still more expensive than heating with natural gas, using supplemental electric heat is still a good idea. So, in extra chilly areas, consider using a space heater, but only when you’re in the room and fully awake. And you must also make sure it’s not close to curtains or bedding that can catch fire. That’s because according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research, 81% of home heating deaths involved space heaters.
For a bathroom, consider changing out the exhaust fan/light combo with one that has an additional feature – a heater. You use it only when you first step out of the bath or shower so you don’t immediately break out in goosebumps.
9. Use Your Oven More
During the hot summer months, the last thing you want to do is use your oven. But in the winter, the extra heat your oven puts off can keep the furnace or boiler from kicking in. You can even leave the oven door open after you’re done to let it warm the kitchen and dining area.
10. Drink Hot Beverages
Hot cocoa, coffee, tea, and hot apple cider can all help warm you up. So, stock up on some of your favorites this winter.
11. Consider a Heating Upgrade
Lastly, if you have an old furnace or boiler, it’s not nearly as efficient as the newer models. You can start looking into a replacement, especially if you’ve already had to make a lot of repairs.
Another option is to look into a full-scale heat conversion, if it’s something you can budget for. If you have natural gas in your area, you may be able to do an oil to gas conversion, or you could do an electric to gas conversion if that makes financial sense.
Schedule Home Heating Oil Delivery Today
If you heat with home heating oil, in addition to following all of these tips to save money on heating costs, you’ll want to work with a fuel oil team you can count on. Here at Pug’s Fuel Oil services, we are dedicated to offering competitive pricing and on-time delivery.
We deliver Monday through Friday, and we’re on call for emergency service. Call 410-477-3345 to schedule your next delivery. Our service area includes Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Harford County, and surrounding areas.