Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
As winter approaches, you’re probably thinking about celebrating the upcoming holidays with friends and family, enjoying activities in a winter wonderland, cozying up next to the fireplace on a chilly night — and your heating bill. Because when it comes to winter where you live, heating your home or apartment is necessary to make it through the winter comfortably.
While that spike in your electric bill is an unavoidable expense, we’ve listed some simple, cost-effective ways to help reduce your heating bill this winter and keep more money warming your wallet.
All it takes is a day or two to prepare your home or apartment for the cold weather — time that can save you a lot of money! Take a look at our simple, affordable ways to keep your home warm and electric bill costs down:
Service your furnace. Regular furnace inspections and monthly filter changes keep this vital piece of equipment working efficiently. When it’s working properly, it’s not using as much energy to produce heat — which means less electricity is being used.
Have ducts inspected. Have your home’s ducts inspected and cleaned, paying special attention to any gaps in ductwork to keep heat from escaping.
Use a smart thermostat. Monitor your temperature at home or away for maximum comfort and savings. A smart thermostat like Nest adapts to your schedule changes, manage your energy usage and allows you to control your climate from your smart phone or smart device no matter where you are. Program your thermostat to run cooler when you’re away or asleep and have your home toasty warm upon arrival or waking up! Plus, having a smart thermostat means you might even qualify for a smart home insurance discount.
Look for drafts. One of the easiest ways to let heat escape is having poorly sealed window frames or other gaps in your home. In fact, drafty windows do double damage by letting the warm air out and chilly winds in. Seal your windows and doors with weather stripping, caulk and/or plastic.
Use a humidifier. Moist air feels warmer than dry air. Adding a room humidifier adds warmth — and your skin will thank you!
Looking for some quick, free fixes to help lower your heating bill expenses? We’ve got a few tricks to try out:
Go solar. You don’t have to have solar panels to take advantage of the sun’s warmth. Open curtains to take advantage of daylight and close them at night to block out drafts.
Flip your ceiling fans. In the summer you want your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise for a cool breeze. But, in the winter you can push warm air down by having them rotate clockwise.
Skip the exhaust fans. Did you know that the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull hot air out of your home? Try to make it a habit to avoid using the fans if you don’t have to in chilly months.
Snuggle up. Break out your blankets, sweaters and fuzzy socks and cuddle up with your favorite family members or furry friends. Make your own warmth and drop your thermostat a degree or two.
Hibernate. Settle in a few main rooms and close up unused ones. Make sure you remember to pull curtains, close vents and place draft blockers at the base of closed doors.
Move your furniture. If you have furniture that sits in front of heating vents, it’s time to redecorate — at least for the season. Your vents aren’t working to maximum capacity if your couch is absorbing all of the heat that’s meant for you.
Get active. Moving helps you feel warm and it can chase away cabin fever. Consider doing some home repair projects or finally starting that home exercise program you’ve been thinking about.
The key to lowering your electric bill this winter is to be energy efficient — this means turning down the thermostat. Challenge yourself to come up with your own creative ways to save money!
This article is for informational purposes only and based on information that is widely available. This information does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. You should contact a professional for advice specific to your situation.