Looking for more things you can do to save on your heating costs? Open your south facing shades and blinds between 9 AM and 3 PM to let the sunlight in. Taking advantage of free sunlight to help heat your home will keep your comfort level up while keeping your bills down. Remember to close them up when the sun starts to go down.
Keep heat from escaping in the winter by closing your shades at night. Window shades insulate against heat loss through the glass even with the best windows. Remember to open them back up during the day.
Closing your shades at night during colder weather blocks out cool drafts that may come in, reducing how much your furnace must run. Open them up during the day to allow the warm sunlight in.
More daylight and a higher sun angle in the early spring mean you can take advantage of heat entering your homes through the window. Turning your furnace down an extra degree and opening the shades on the south and west side of your home can help you save money on heating as spring approaches.
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn your heat on. The fan will produce an updraft and push warm air down into the room from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). It might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings. This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings.
Outlets and switches on exterior walls are common places for cold air to leak into your home. Consider adding insulators to these outlets and switches to help reduce heating costs and increase your comfort! (Please follow instructions on packages to ensure the safe installation of insulator kits)
Save on heating and cooling costs by locating and fixing drafts in your basement. Look for spider webs around basement windows to locate drafty areas. Spiders build their webs in areas with moving air and can indicate what areas need to be sealed.
Inspect the weather stripping on your doors. Worn weather stripping with even the smallest gaps can act like a 2” hole in your door allowing cold air to pass freely into your home. Replacing worn weather stripping is easy to do and will save you money on your heating bills.
Make sure your thermostat program is set for winter to save money on your heating bill. Double check the clock setting and program it to reduce the temperature when you are working and sleeping. An 8-degree setback for 8 hours can save you up to 8% on your heating bill.
Programming your thermostat is a great way to save money on heating costs in the winter, but only if it’s programmed. It is estimated that as many as 50-70% of programmable thermostats are not programmed, costing owners more money on utility bills. Check to make sure yours is set properly, turning the temperature down during the day while you work, and again while you sleep to save the most money.
Leaving for the weekend or vacation during the winter? Turn your thermostat down and hit the “hold” button on programmable thermostats. Setting your thermostat as low as 50-55 degrees will keep your home from freezing, but reduce the cost of keeping it heated while you are gone.
An electric blanket can keep you warm and cozy while ensuring you are able to do a thermostat setback overnight. Electric blankets, when combined with a thermostat setback, will save you money in the long run on heating bills.
Replace your furnace filter. Dirty and clogged filters make your furnace work harder and use more energy. Replacing filters regularly will save you money this winter.
We all know it’s important to change the furnace filter regularly, but it is just as important to clean your vents and registers. Dust buildup on return air vents can act like a clogged filter, making your furnace work harder. Next time you change your filter, take a minute to clean your vents too. Just taking this extra minute can save you money on your heating costs and help prolong the life of your furnace.
A dirty furnace runs less efficiently, costing you more money to heat your house. Having a clean and tune-up on your furnace can save you more than $100 on heating costs and helps your furnace last longer.
Running a humidifier in the winter may allow you to reduce the temperature of your home up to 2 degrees while maintaining the proper comfort level. Adjust your humidity level according to the outdoor air temperature.
Ideal Indoor Humidity
20 to 40 degrees
Not more than 40 percent
10 to 20 degrees
Not more than 35 percent
0 to 10 degrees
Not more than 30 percent
-10 to 0 degrees
Not more than 25 percent
-20 to -10 degrees
Not more than 20 percent
Warmer weather as spring approaches is a great opportunity to turn off the furnace and open windows to get fresh air in your home. Before opening the windows, though, double check that your furnace is turned off so you don’t blow all that hot air straight outside. When it gets cool enough at night to need your furnace again, make sure you didn’t forget any of the windows open before turning it on.