Winter 2020 is in full swing, and even though we’ve not yet seen an extended stretch of bitter cold so far this season, you can bet it’s coming sooner or later; when it does, you’ll have the heating bills to show for it.
The good news is you can take a bite out of those bills by making some simple changes at home. Here are three of the best ways to cut heating costs this winter:
Program your thermostat – Managing your heat with a programmable thermostat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save money during peak heating months.
Start by keeping your home temperature at a moderate 68 degrees when people are home; this will give you a great balance of comfort and economy. Then, when no one is home or during sleeping hours, drop temperatures by eight to ten degrees: this could save you 10 percent or more on your heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Want to make managing your home climate even easier? Install a smart thermostat, which takes temperature control to the next level by letting you manage your heating and cooling systems from any location using your smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection.
Seal air leaks – Weatherizing your home with simple, cost-effective measures will help tame drafts and keep the air you paid to heat inside your living space where it belongs. Try these simple energy-saving tricks:
Install plastic sheeting around window frames to block drafts
Add insulated window treatments (curtains, shades, etc.) to block out cold air
Add door sweeps along the bottom of exterior doors or patio sliders
Replace worn weather stripping and caulk around doors and windows
Seal chimney leaks
If you have a fireplace, close the flue when you’re not using it; if you no longer use your fireplace, consider plugging it.
If you have a forced air system, consider having your ducts professionally sealed; as much as 15 percent of your heated air escapes into your home’s building envelope via duct leaks before it ever reaches your living space.
Let the sun shine in – Have south-facing windows in your home? Open curtains and blinds to allow in free solar heat. Close the curtains at night to keep warm air in.