How Can I Save on My Heating Bill? [Expert Tips]
When winter rolls around, Cincinnati area homeowners have a common concern in mind – how to save on your heating bill costs. Many worry the only solution is to install a more efficient heating system, but that isn’t the only way to cut back on heating energy consumption. Our experts walk you through simple things you can do today that have a noticeable impact on your heating bills this winter.
Save on Heating Bill Costs with HVAC ImprovementsA new heating system isn’t the only HVAC system upgrade that helps with how to save on your heating bill costs. There are several affordable improvements to make that improve efficiency and lower energy consumption.
Thermostat UpgradeReplace your old thermostat with a new smart or programmable thermostat for about $100 to $500 dollars, depending on the model you select. If you still use a manual thermostat, it’s well past time to upgrade. Better thermostat technology helps you make more efficient use of your furnace. While smart thermostats take care of the scheduling for you, they are more expensive. If you choose a programmable thermostat, start setting it right – stay at or below 68 degrees when you are home and awake. When you leave or sleep, program setbacks of 10 degrees over a period of 8 or more hours.
Duct SealingThe average home loses 20 to 30 percent of its heating energy through duct leaks. Duct sealing eliminates leaks to generate an automatic 20 to 30 percent reduction to keep warm air in and help you save on heating bill costs! While you’re at it, reduce duct energy losses even further when you add insulation to ducts that run through attics, basements, crawlspaces, and garages.
Whole Home HumidifiersDry air is a winter problem that increases discomfort and heating costs. When you install a whole home humidifier, humidity levels in the house are kept balanced. Balanced humidity helps your body retain heat and feel warmer. Set back your thermostat a few degrees and use your humidifier to save on heating bill costs.
Home Improvements for Better Energy EfficiencyThese home improvement tips help you reduce heat losses and avoid energy waste through your heating unit. With less heat loss, you save on heating bill costs – and these improvements are in place to help you save come summer, too!
Air SealingGaps and cracks throughout the home allow warm air to escape while cold outdoor air moves its way in. Seal up these leaks to keep your heat where you want it and avoid making your furnace overwork to replace it. Check around these areas to identify air leaks, and seal them with the appropriate weatherstripping caulking, or insulation:
- Window and door frames
- Attic hatches
- Electrical outlets
- Exterior wall penetrations
- Floor penetrations to the crawlspace or basement
Raise Insulation LevelsBy addition insulation to your attic and floors, you help your home hold heat inside while limiting the amount of energy your furnace has to use to keep you comfortable. Insulation batts can be cut and placed between attic joists and floor joists, via your basement or crawlspace. Blown-in insulation can often reach down into wall cavities to add extra insulation without extensive renovations, and is suitable for attics, too.
Change Furnace FiltersA dirty furnace filter restricts airflow, which forces your furnace to use more energy to circulate air. Check your filter once a month during the winter season and replace it as soon as the surface becomes grayed and caked with debris.
Clean Heating ComponentsIn homes with radiators or baseboard heaters, radiant heating is restricted when dust builds up on these surfaces. With the furnace off, clean these components to remove buildup so heat can freely make its way into your living areas.
More Tips to Lower Heating BillsHere are some more quick tips to save money this winter:
- Close crawlspace vents to keep heat close
- Use ceiling fans moving clockwise when rooms are occupied
- Close the chimney flue when not in use
- Open curtains on southern windows during the day for natural heat gain
- Keep other window coverings closed and make sure all are closed at night to limit heat loss
- Insulate windows with plastic film
- Make sure to keep doors shut so rooms retain more heat