While many of us look forward to enjoying the snowy winter season, none of us look forward to having to pay high heating bills. In fact, you may find it difficult to fit those bills into your existing budget. If so, here are some tips to help save you more money on your wintertime energy bills.
Sign Up for Monthly Fuel Bills
If your heating system runs on gas, propane, or oil, you can reduce your wintertime time energy bills by signing up for monthly fuel bills. Most fuel providers will offer a monthly service where they refill your fuel tank. The part that saves you money is that they will guarantee you a maximum capped price per gallon as long as you’re on their monthly program.
If you don’t sign up for one of these monthly plans, you have to pay whatever the going rate is per gallon of fuel whenever you go to refill your tank. When you sign up for monthly payments, you can be assured that your bill won’t go above a certain level. Depending on the providers in your area, you typically need to sign up for this service before the start of the winter season to enjoy capped pricing on your fuel.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
One of the best ways to drastically impact your energy bills in the wintertime is to use a programmable thermostat. This can allow you to set the temperature lower when your family’s not going to be at home so that you don’t use up as much fuel. The best part is that you can program your thermostat to increase to a more comfortable temperature before you arrive back home so that your house is warm when you walk through the front door.
Get Your Ducts Sealed
One of the biggest culprits of energy loss in your home is leaky ductwork. It’s not uncommon for the ducts throughout your home to become dented or develop gaps over a period of time. It’s important that you have these leaks sealed by a professional. This will prevent any of the heat created from your heating system from escaping into your wall cavities.
Turn On Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are not just for use in the summertime. They can also be an added advantage to help reduce your energy bills in the winter months. Instead of having the fan blades in a counterclockwise direction where they push air down into a room, you want to switch them to a clockwise direction.
Most people know that heat naturally rises in a room. When you set your fan to force the air upward, it forces all that hot air trapped at the top of your room into the walls and down to the floor. This helps to redistribute the heat in each room to make it feel warmer without having to turn on your heating system.
Add More Insulation
Insulation is a necessary part of helping to regulate the temperature inside of your home. It creates a healthy barrier that allows heat to be trapped inside of your home instead of dispersing it out through the walls. If you have a poor level of insulation in your home, it’s likely that all that heat is escaping to the outdoors.
Adding more insulation to your home can create a thicker barrier to help hold the heat inside your home. Since heat naturally rises, it’s best to start by adding insulation into your attic. You should make sure that your insulation R-value is at least equal to the recommendation for your area of the country.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
If you notice that your energy bills are constantly getting higher and higher every single year, it could be an indication that your heating system just isn’t keeping up anymore. You may want to consider getting a professional assessment of your system to discover if it’s time to upgrade to a new heating system. It’s important to remember that these systems naturally last between 10 and 15 years. If you’re still running a system that is at least 15 years old, it’s likely that your system doesn’t have any of the newer, more energy-efficient features that are available in the market.
Use Natural Sunlight
One of the best ways to take advantage of free heat is to let the natural sunlight come into your home. You should be opening your blinds and curtains during the daylight hours so that the sun’s rays can make their way inside of your home. You may just be surprised at how much free heat you can enjoy from the sun.
Replace Your Windows
Another great investment that can help to lower your heating bills in the wintertime is to replace your windows. If your windows are over 10 years old, it’s likely that they’re not as energy efficient as newer windows. In fact, many homeowners don’t realize just how much heat that is generated from their system actually escapes outside due to leaks in their windows and doors.
Regularly Change Your Furnace Filter
Your furnace has an air filter that works to remove unwanted airborne debris from inside of your home. As it removes debris from the air, the debris gets stuck within the filter and reduces its efficiency. When your air filter becomes full, it restricts the natural flow of air throughout your heating system. This requires your heating system to work much harder to try to produce warm air for your home. By changing your filter on a regular basis, you can help to prevent your heating system from unnecessarily overworking.
Get an Energy Audit
One of the best things you can do to learn where you’re losing heat inside of your home is to get an energy audit. This process involves a professional using a thermometer to help determine where you’re losing heat throughout your home. By understanding where your heat is being lost, you can better determine what strategies you’ll need to implement to make your home retain heat better.
Use a Humidifier
Most homeowners are familiar with the fact that using a dehumidifier in the summertime will help to make their houses feel colder. The exact opposite holds true for the winter months. Instead of pulling the excess humidity out of the air, you want to put humidity into the air. Since the wintertime is typically very dry and has low humidity, using a humidifier to put moisture back into the air can help your family feel much warmer inside of your home at a lower temperature.
It can be very easy thinking that you’re stuck with the same energy provider. In reality, most homeowners have the option between a few different energy companies that they can use. Now may be a great time to go ahead and rate providers between the various companies in your area to determine if you can get a lower rate somewhere else. It’s not uncommon for energy companies to offer new customers special introductory rates that can help to lower your wintertime heating bills.
Dedicated Heating System Professional
Shines Energy is here for all of your heating system needs in the Dartmouth area. We also offer cooling, indoor air quality, air purification, refrigeration, and UV lighting services. Give us a call today to get the assistance that you need.