Practical Ways to Save Money on Heating Bills
With the average American household spending over $1000 a year on heating bills, the desire to cut heating costs is entirely understandable. Whether you use gas, electricity or oil to run your heaters, there are many practical ways to reduce your heating bill that don't require extra sweaters or turning off the heat.
An important way to save money on your heating bill is to make sure that your heating system is functioning as efficiently as possible. Remember to schedule a regular maintenance for your heating system near the start of the cool season. Paying this nominal service fee to ensure will prevent your system from overworking itself and costing you more on fuel or electricity. A qualified technician will service parts of your system that aren't running efficiently technicians and will clean the filters so that additional dust will not clog your vents.
In addition to hiring a professional, there are several things that you can do to keep your heating bills to a minimum. Firstly, examine your windows and doors for places in which cold air can enter. This can be done easily by feeling carefully around the periphery when it is cold outside. If you feel cool air coming in, seal the area with additional caulking or weather stripping. Alternatively, consider investing in storm windows which will provide an additional layer of blockage against the cold. If you find your windows to be exceptionally drafty, upgrading your windows to Energy Star certified windows can save you up to 15% on your heating bills and will prevent you from struggling to caulk and stuff drafty windows. If you are ready to replace your windows, make sure to invest in energy-efficient windows so that you'll enjoy the savings on your heating bills.
Secondly, make sure to regulate your thermostat so that the heat is only running at maximum capacity when you need it (such as in the early morning or evening hours). A programmable thermostat costs approximately $150, and can save you up to 10% on your heating bill by enabling you to reduce your heat when it is not being used.
Schedule a regular maintenance for your heating system near the start of the cool season.
One of the most expensive ways to save on your heating is to add to your home's insulation. If you live in a structure that was built over 20 years ago, chances are that your home is lacking insulation. If this is the case, your heating system will be required to work harder to heat the space. Upgrading your insulation will require an initial expense, but once the job is complete you can recover this money in a few short years, while enjoying the comfort of a warmer home.
Perhaps the most surprising way to save money on your heating bills is to use your ceiling fan in the winter to help circulate the warm air. This can be achieved by setting the fan to rotate in a clockwise motion so that the blades push the warm air downwards. Likewise, many homeowners are surprised to learn that their choice of window treatments can actually save money on heating bills. Cellular shades, especially those with multiple 'cells' have proven to help reduce heating costs by adding an additional layer of insulation to the windows. In fact, energy-efficient window shades have proven to block up to 62% of the heat transfer that normally occurs through the window panes. Homeowners should take care to close their shades at night for optimal insulation and to open their shades during the day, to let the sun shine through the windows to help heat the house.
While the costs associated with heating your home are unavoidable, overpaying on heating expenses is entirely preventable. Take time to inspect your home and your heating system and you'll quickly discover how easy it is to save a heap on your heat.
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