6 Ways To Save on Heating Bills this Winter

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Heating bills are on track to be substantially higher this winter. This is largely driven by the rise in the cost of natural gas, propane, heating oil and electricity. About half of households in America primarily use natural gas for home heating and could spend about 30% more, on average, as per a recent Energy Information Administration forecast. 

Now more than ever, it is vital that you take advantage of opportunities to cut your heating costs without jeopardizing your health and safety during the winter cold.

Fix Your Heating System

A faulty heating system often results in your spending more money on energy bills than you otherwise should. So repairing and maintaining your heating system can deliver some of the largest savings on this list. 

Call a HVAC contractor such as Lake Michigan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and have them take a look at your system before the cold sets in. Repair works will certainly cost you, but in the long term, the improved quality of heating as well as the reduction in utility bills makes the expenditure worth it.

Upgrade

If your boiler is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it with a new one. And that’s not just because the boiler is approaching its end of life, it’s because repair costs also increase as the unit ages.  

Newer models are also likely to be more energy efficient. This will lead to the consumption of less fuel to generate equivalent warmth. An upgrade is certainly not an investment that will pay off this winter. However, over the new boiler’s lifetime, you can save a significant amount of money.

Fix Insulation Starting at the Top

Fixing your insulation closes the gaps that may be leaking much of your home’s warmth outside. About 25% of heat loss occurs through the roof. Warm air rises, so heat loss tends to occur towards the upper sections of your home. Therefore, start by checking, repairing or adding the insulation in your attic and work down throughout your home. 

You can often see where insulation is thin with a basic visual inspection. Reposition insulation that may have shifted in your attic. Check for gaps around ducts and pipes. Take this inspection further by buying a thermal camera that you can attach to your cell phone and identify areas in your walls where heat is leaking out.

Winter 3

Winter 3

Move Furniture

You may love having your favorite sofa in front of the radiator. While that may not have been a problem during the warmer months of the year, you want to change that arrangement as winter approaches. 

The sofa, curtains, clothes and other objects that obstruct your radiator will be absorbing much of the warmth your heating system generates. By moving furniture away from the radiator and vents, you allow the hot air to circulate more freely, thus reducing the amount of fuel needed to maintain indoor warmth.

Turn Down Thermostat When Sleeping or Away

You can significantly cut your heating costs by turning down the thermostat when you are away from home or sleeping. If this is something you don’t want to remember to do, a programmable thermostat will do it automatically for you. 

You can save as much as 10% on your heating bills by lowering the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours each day. Even if you work from home, you can still realize significant savings in heating costs. For instance, set your thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and adjust it a bit lower when asleep.

Keep Warm

There is that advice you heard countless times from your parents or guardians when you were younger – keep warm. As your heating system does all the heavy lifting, think about what you can do as well. Bring out the cozy blankets and reading socks, and make a pot of tea. You will probably be more confident turning down your thermostat if you are already comfortable and warm. 

Make a habit of wearing a sweater during the winter months, even when indoors. Place warm blankets on the couch and get an extra one for the bed. Stock up on your favorite hot beverages and settle in for winter. 

Higher Bills Are Not Inevitable

Energy costs may be going up nationwide this winter, but that does not automatically mean your own energy bills have to go up, too. Apply these tips collectively and you will significantly cut down on your heating costs.

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