With winter comes the cold, snow and high utility bills. I know it’s coming and there is not much I can do about the first two anyways. Heating my home is a must, but I also want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to keep my costs as low as possible. Even if it’s only a few dollars, that’s a few dollars in my pocket and not some huge corporation.
In Nova Scotia, our home had oil heat which was insanely expensive in the winter. I said when we moved to Ontario that I wanted a gas furnace after dealing with that craziness. Unfortunately, the home that was in my price range and that suited our family in just about every way, had oil heat too. The positive thing is that this house is newer and better insulated so costs aren’t as high as our old home.
© Wood stove image via Shutterstock
I figured others must be in the same boat as me: people trying to save money on their heating in the winter. I’ve researched over the years tips and tricks that can help improve your home budget’s bottom line when it comes to home heating.
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Here are 25 ways to save money on your heating bill:
1. Clean your furnace filters. Keeping your furnace clean and maintained keeps it functioning at its optimum. A dirty furnace isn’t an efficient furnace. It’s also worth it to have it professionally cleaned to ensure its doing the job it was meant to do.
2. Put ceiling fans in reverse on a low speed. Fans aren’t just for summer use! Turn the fan on the opposite of what you would do in the summer. It draws the air up towards the ceiling and in effect, pushes the warm air at the top down into the room.
3. Heat yourself first. This tip seems like common sense to me. If you’re cold, grab a sweater. Keep blankets nearby in the living room. Wear warm slippers or socks. If you’re sweating in the house in a t-shirt in the winter, you may have your heat up too high.
4. Repair your roof. John always points out to me the homes that are losing heat. He taught me a little trick on how you can tell. If your roof is clear of snow, but your neighbours has a thick covering, then your home is losing heat. Your attic isn’t properly insulated so the heat in your home is going out of your roof and melting the snow. Another way to tell is if you have giant icicles hanging down off your roof. That’s not a good sign either.
5. Replace your windows with Thermalpane windows. When you are ready to get new ones, anyways. These windows are have two panes of glass that have an air gap in between them that prevents fogging and condensation. They are known to keep the cold out and the heat in.
6. Keep your wood stove damper closed when not in use. You can feel the cold air coming in when it’s open so you’ll want to make sure it’s shut when you’re not using it.
7. Open blinds during the day and shut them at night. Again, this tip is a no-brainer. Let the sun naturally heat the home during the daylight hours with your curtains and blinds opened. Close them at dusk to keep the heat in.
8. Use a space heater. These are great to quickly heat up a cold room without having to raise the thermostat.
9. Ensure your attic hatch is insulated. This is another spot where you can easily lose heat in your home.
10. Cuddle up with thick, heavy blankets. I find the warmest, comfiest blankets are those big down duvets. I love to curl up in bed in feel their warmth!
11. Turn heat down at night. A programmable thermostat works awesome for this task so you don’t forget. They even have thermostats you can control from an app on your phone.
12. Don’t leave bathroom or kitchen fans running. Let them do their job to get rid of the smell or humidity and then turn them off. It will suck the heat right out of the house. I’m bad for leaving ours run so I need to really watch myself!
13. Keep heating vents open and clear. When you’re placing your furniture, make sure you aren’t covering any of the heating vents and blocking the heat to your room.
14. Rearrange furniture away from exterior walls. Along the same lines as #13, you can also think about keeping furniture away from the coldest walls in your home: the ones closest to the outdoors.
15. Lower the temperature on your water heater. If your hot water is heated by your furnace, lowering the heat will translate into savings. It’s also safer to not have it set too high.
16. Close off rooms you don’t use. Why heat a room you never use? For instance, if you have a spare bedroom that no one ever uses, keep the door shut so heat stays in the part of the house you do frequent.
17. Leave your oven open a crack after baking. The heat from the oven will spread to the kitchen. I wouldn’t do this if I had small children around though. Cooking and baking can heat up a kitchen quickly. I notice even when I’m boiling water that the kitchen feels warmer with the extra moisture and heat from the stove.
18. Use an area rug on bare floors. Hard floors are cold! It’s amazing what the addition of an area rug can do to improve the comfort of a room. I put area rugs on my daughter’s bedroom floors and noticed it felt warmer right away.
19. Dress your windows in thermal curtains. They work in the summer and winter. In the winter, they’ll help trap the heat inside. In the summer, they’ll keep the cool air in and the heat out.
20. Sleep with a hot water bottle. This little trick works wonders and helps me fall asleep. The heat relaxes me and keeps me warm.
21. Snuggle up. Grab a furry friend and cuddle up together on the couch. My cats are mini heaters. Misty likes to sleep on my chest and Reggie on my legs. Princess will normally lay on the back of the couch and paw at my head. She’s not much help.
How do you save money on your heating bill in the winter?