I love the change of seasons, but one thing I do not care the cost of heating during the colder months of the year. It pains me to know that my friends and family members are writing that big check every month, especially when I think about how much the energy companies are profiting from payments being made by people who are just barely getting by.
But even for those who are still on the grid and are dependent on those companies to provide the heat they need, there are a number of easy steps that can be taken to reduce the monthly heating bill. All of them will mean more money in your bank account and less money in the hands of the fat cat power companies.
Here are seven actions you can start taking right away to reduce your heating bill during the colder months, even if you have an older home:
Capture the sun. Even if it’s cold outside, the sun still generates heat, so on sunny days allow as much of it as possible to enter your home and warm it up naturally by keeping blinds and curtains open. Closing them when the sun goes down will help keep some of that heat inside.
Install ceiling fans with winter settings. A clockwise spinning fan will push warm air back down so that it doesn’t gather near your ceilings. This is especially important if you have high or sloped ceilings.
Clear your vents. Make sure that nothing – including furniture, clothes, toys, etc. – is blocking a vent and keeping warm air from entering a room. If you have a seldom used room, close its vents and keep the door shut as well.
Be careful with space heaters. These are great for temporarily warming up a room, but they account for one-third of heating related house fires. Keep flammable material away from them and don’t leave them running when you leave the house.
Limit your fireplace usage. Sitting near a roaring fireplace in the winter can be fun and even romantic, but it also allows plenty of warm air to escape from your home. And, of course, keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use.
Dress in layers. It’s just as important to keep yourself warm as it is to keep the house warm. If you dress appropriately, you can probably lower your thermostat a couple of degrees.
Bake and broil. While you shouldn’t count on your oven for heat in the winter, it does warm the house somewhat, so spend some of your time baking and broiling to help provide some heat for your home.
What strategies do you use to help keep your home warmer in the winter? Please share them.