Frugal Living

6 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill

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Cooler weather is here and for much of the country, it will only get cooler as we head into the end of the year. Heating costs can be one of the largest bills that a family can have in their budget which means that if you live in an area where it gets incredibly cold each winter, you might be concerned about how to keep your heating bills manageable while keeping your family warm at the same time. Don’t stress too much about it since there are several fantastic ways to lower your heating bill.

6 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill:

1. Cover or seal leaks.

Leaky windows, doors or other areas can cause a significant jump in your heating bills. Why? Well, if you have leaks, you’re essentially trying to heat the outside and that doesn’t work very well. Sealing those leaks however, will keep your warm air inside and lower your heating bill. For leaky windows, use a thick plastic sheeting called Visqueen. If you want to take it one step farther, add a layer of bubble wrap between the Visqueen and the window. For leaky doors, apply new weather stripping. For any other leaks, picking up a tube of Great Stuff (yes, that is what it is called), can help.

2. Supplement your furnace.

Let’s face it; running your furnace can be expensive. You can supplement it much cheaper though. If you have a room that is especially cold, picking up an electric tower heater can actually be a lot cheaper than turning the thermostat up. This can be especially true if it is below freezing outside since your home will be a lot cooler. Just be sure that you are buying one that has an auto off feature so that it doesn’t run all of the time as well as a tip over emergency shut off in case it would happen to get knocked over by a pet or child.

3. Lock the thermostat.

I don’t mean to actually lock the thermostat (although if you need to do that and can, go for it), but lock down the playing with it. Turning the temperature up and down all of the time only causes your furnace to have to work harder. When it works harder, you pay more. Instead, set it two degrees warmer than you want it to actually be and forget it. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you might want to consider installing one. Doing so can help you keep your temperature managed.

4. Use rugs and curtains.

Another way to lower your heating bill is by using rugs and curtains to create a buffer from the cold weather. Even if you’ve added Visqueen to your windows, the plastic itself will still radiate a bit of cold. Using thermal curtains however, can block that cold from coming into the house and to help you keep your home warmer. Rugs are a great buffer for a room that has hard flooring such as tile or hardwood. Those floors will radiate cold as well and can make an entire room seem much cooler than it actually is.

5. Open the Blinds and Curtains. 

It’s usually the warmest during the middle of the day. If you’re at home during that time, try opening the blinds and/or curtains to let the sun inside. The sun will naturally warm up the room so you won’t have to turn the heater on, or won’t have to run it as hot.

6. Use the Fireplace. 

If you have a Fireplace or Wood Burning Stove, use that to warm your house (of course, only if you’re home). It will warm the room the fireplace or stove is in, and will eventually warm up more of the house. You can even make it fun and play board games or watch a movie together as a family in the room the stove or fireplace is in so you don’t have to run the heater.

Keeping your heating bill low isn’t as hard as it can seem, but it does take work. Putting these six tips into practice should be just the start of your work on keeping it low. Once you’ve done these, start looking for other ways to lower your heating bill and soon, you’ll be paying much less each month.

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Now that it's cold outside, heating bills can skyrocket. Use these tips to lower your heating bill and keep your budget on track.

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