With many people feeling the chill not only of the weather but of the recession, it’s become very popular (and necessary) to find ways to save on utility bills. Your heating system can be a real budget breaker when the weather gets really cold, but there are some things you can do to help keep your heating bills from breaking the bank. Here are some tips.
Alternative Heating Sources
It pays to look into alternative means of heating your home, or the room(s) you’re in. Pellet stoves, kerosene heaters, wood stoves, and various types of space heaters all help to augment your hard-working central heating unit. See if you can use one or more of these alternatives in the rooms you use most, keeping the vents closed in the rooms you’re not using.
Change the Filter
Really. This is one of the most basic and simple things you can do for your heating system, but it’s also one of the most important. You should change the filter in your furnace at least every 60 days, or even once a month. This keeps the unit running smoothly and efficiently. A dirty filter can result in anything from high electric bills (due to the extra effort the unit has to make to get air through the dirty filter) to a broken-down system.
Turn It Down
When you’re not in the house, make sure you turn down the heat before you leave. Also, turn it down at night. You can use a space heater in the areas where you’re sleeping if you need to.
Another option is to get a timer for your thermostat. It’s a simple job to install it, and timers can be bought at most home improvement retailers.
If you’re not using a room, shut the heating vent in that room. That way, you won’t be paying to heat rooms you’re not using. If you don’t have the kind of vents you can shut, you can purchase vent covers at home improvement stores.
Check Doors and Windows
Part of saving money on heating bills is making sure your heat isn’t escaping. Windows and doors can have leaks you don’t really notice until it gets cold. Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to install, and can save a lot of money on heating bills.
Use Residual Heat
In the kitchen, when you’re finished baking something in the oven, leave the oven door open a few inches and let the heat escape into the room.
It’s What You’re Wearing – or Not
If you are hanging around in a t-shirt and shorts and constantly cranking up the heat to feel like summer, you are wasting a lot of heat. Dress for the season – wear several layers and a sweater, and thick wool socks. Warm house slippers can help, too.
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