9 Ways to Heat Your Home This Winter and Have a Lower Energy Bill
The average American household spends more than $2,000 a year on utility bills.
Heating accounts for most of the energy use in a household, nearly 29%. After heating is electronics (21%) and then cooling (13%).
Do you feel like you’re spending too much on your energy bill, especially during the cold winter months when your heater is in full use? Want to learn ways to stay cozy and warm this winter, but without the high bill?
Here are 9 ways to keep costs low and have a lower energy bill this winter.
1. Use the Sunlight
Use the sun’s warmth during the day to warm up your home. During the daytime, open your curtains or raise the blinds to allow sunlight in. The heat from the sunlight can provide some warmth to your home.
You can do the reverse during the summer months. You can shut the blinds or curtains during the day to block out the heat from the sun to keep the house cool.
2. Adjust the Thermostat
You can save about 10% on heating and cooling costs a year by setting your thermostat back by 7-10 degrees F compared to its normal setting for eight hours a day.
You can also adjust the thermostat to a lower temperature when you know you won’t be home. You can program it to warm up the house about 30 minutes before you arrive home.
If you have a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature based on your patterns throughout the day. For example, you can lower the temperature when you go to work or during the night when you’re sleeping.
Another option is installing a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can learn your heating or cooling patterns throughout the day and automatically adjust the temperature. Some smart thermostats learn whether you’re in the home or away and can heat or cool the home based on that.
3. Cover up Leaks or Drafts
Another way to lower winter heating costs is to cover up any leaks or drafts in your home. Check your doors and windows for any air leaks and seal them to block cold air from entering your home.
Other places you can check for air leaks include:
- Phone lines or cable tv lines
Even though these areas may have small air leaks, they can add up to a lot of heat loss. Your heater will work harder to keep the home warm, which can result in a higher energy bill.
4. Dress Cozy
A simple way to lower energy costs during the colder months is to dress warmer.
Instead of a t-shirt, put on a sweater. Put some socks on to keep your feet warm, especially if you have hardwood or tile flooring. In the morning, put on a thick robe to warm up instead of cranking up the heat.
You can also make your home cozier by adding rugs if you don’t have carpeting. You can add a rug in the living room or in the bedrooms. Area rugs can help warm a room by providing insulation between your feet and the cold floor.
5. Change the Filters
If your HVAC system has an air filter, you should change it regularly to improve the efficiency of your system. Over time, dust can accumulate in the filter. One that’s filled with dust and dirt may make your heater work harder than it needs to.
On average, you should change the filter at the beginning of each season. However, you have pets, you might want to change the filter more frequently.
6. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Another tip for a lower energy bill is to schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system. A professional technician can come out and check your heating system to make sure it is running efficiently.
By scheduling regular maintenance, a professional can also assess and diagnose any issues.
7. Lower the Temperature of Your Water Heater
Another consideration for your energy bill during the winter is your water heater. It can cost a lot to heat your water, especially during the colder months.
To save on energy costs, you can adjust the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees. By keeping the water heater at this temperature, you also reduce mineral buildup and corrosion in the pipes and water heater.
Lowering the temperature of the water heater also reduces the risk of scalding from hot water.
8. Use the Fan
Some ceiling fans have a reverse switch so that the fan goes in reverse. During the winter, this can help circulate warm air and keep the room warmer.
However, if you’re not using the room, you can keep the fans off so that you don’t waste energy.
9. Check the Age of Your HVAC System
Do you find yourself regularly calling an HVAC technician to service your heater? Then it might be time for a replacement.
How long does an HVAC system last? On average, a new furnace has a life span of 16-20 years. A central air conditioner has a life span of 12-15 years.
Consider upgrading to an energy-efficient heating system. In the long run, it can save you money and lower your energy costs.
This can depend on how much you spend on your heating bill now. Another consideration is how much you will spend on fixing an old heating system compared to the cost of replacing with an energy-efficient model.
If your heating system is older, and your energy bill is high, you might want to think about replacing it.
Final Tips for a Lower Energy Bill
The above tips can help you stay warmer and have a lower energy bill during the chilly winter months. In addition to these tips, you can have a professional technician regularly inspect your heating system before the beginning of each winter to make sure your heating system is running efficiently.
To schedule service for your heating system, contact us today.