Imagine the perfect winter day, where you are bundled up on the couch, staying nice and warm, and are enjoying a cup of hot tea while watching the snow fall. Then, suddenly, your heating bill arrives for the month.
Now, your day isn’t so perfect anymore…
As you may already know, home heating is one of the most expensive utilities that you pay for as a homeowner. In most cases, heating makes up for more than 40% of a utility bill. While this amount is certainly substantial, there are several things that you can do to reduce the amount of money spent on heating your home each month.
Why Is My Bill So High?
Heating bills vary greatly among each household and family. At the end of the day, your heating bill is determined by the condition of your home, the state of your furnace, and the rate at which you use your furnace at. Listed below are ways that these factors can affect your heating bill:
Condition of your home: In homes that lack proper insulation, you can expect to experience heat loss. The same is true for windows and doors that are poorly sealed, or if you have air leaks around your power outlets or fireplace.
State of your furnace: Older furnaces use more fuel and energy than a newer, energy-efficient one does.
Habits/Preferences: Some homeowners adjust their thermostat on a regular basis, while some use the “set it and forget it” approach. People who “set it and forget it” are more likely to have a higher heating bill. That’s because with this approach, your home is heated equally when you are out on vacation, sleeping, etc. Additionally, if the people in your home prefer to wear short sleeves indoors during this time of year, then you will likely need to keep your home warmer.
Common Areas of Heat Loss
One of the first steps in figuring out how to reduce your heating bill is identifying areas in your home that are experiencing heat loss. Since homes are not air-tight, this means that any small cracks or crevices in your home are susceptible candidates. Some of the most common areas in homes that experience heat loss are:
- Power outlets
On the flip side, these cracks and crevices can allow for cold air to enter into your home. In order to save the most money, it is important to make sure that you are identifying and taking action with these areas in your home year-round.
9 Tricks To Save Money On Heating
You now know a bit more about why your energy bill is higher during the winter. Next, we’ll help you take the right steps to get your bill lower than it was during the previous winter months. Check out our list of tips below:
1. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Nothing feels better than a hot shower during the winter, we get it. However, what if we told you that you could save 11% on water heating costs by slightly reducing your water heater’s temperature AND still taking hot showers?
By cutting your water heater’s temperature from 140°F to 120°F, you can save a tremendous amount of money on monthly water heating costs. In addition, according to the California Energy Commission, cutting shower length in half can also save up to 33% on water heating costs.
Turning down your water heater is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to save money on your monthly heating bill.
2. Replace Furnace Filters
Aside from cleaning the air, changing your furnace filters will ensure that your furnace is operating at its optimal efficiency. When air filters are covered in dust and debris, the clogged material forces your unit to work harder, ultimately raising energy costs.
3. Seal Air Leaks
From doors and windows, to outlets and fireplaces, these areas must be properly sealed in order to prevent your home’s heat from drifting outdoors. Listed below are some tips and tricks to help seal up any air leaks you may have in your home:
- Make sure all doors and windows are closed tightly.
- Replace weather-stripping as needed.
- Use plastic window kits to insulate leaks.
4. Turn Down Your Thermostat
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to heating their home during the winter. But did you know that you can save roughly 5% on room heating costs by lowering your thermostat just 2-3 degrees?
Doing so certainly means changing up your way of doing things – but the benefits are all there. In most cases, people who turn their thermostat down 2-3 degrees end up being just as comfortable as they were prior to making the change. Why not give it a try?
5. Close Unused Vents
Are there rooms in your house that you barely use? By closing the vents in those rooms, you can redirect your furnace’s heat so that it gets occupied by the rooms in your home that you use regularly.
6. Turn On Your Ceiling Fan
Most people hold the belief that ceiling fans are solely meant to keep you cool during the summer. While ceiling fans are certainly great at doing that, they also offer benefits for heating your home. Ceiling fans that run clockwise can be used to help distribute warm air throughout your home.
Not sure if your blade is spinning clockwise? Stand under the fan blades while the fan is spinning. If the fan is spinning clockwise, then you will not feel any air blowing down on you.
7. Check Your Insulation
On average, attics should have at least 11 inches of fiberglass insultation. Without it, you can expect to lose a great deal of heat to the upper level of your home.
Haven’t laid down your insulation yet? It’s important to make sure you seal up any cracks in the attic floor before applying insulation.
8. Turn Off Bathroom Fan
After a hot shower, most people think to turn on the exhaust fan switch. During the winter, we recommend opening a door instead. This will allow the humid air from the steam to migrate to nearby areas in the home, ultimately warming the air.
9. Use The Heat From The Sun
Although you might not see as much of the sun during the winter, it is not gone entirely. On sunny days, we recommend opening any blinds, shades, or curtains to capture the warmth from the sun. Once it starts to get dark outside, close them to reduce the chill from cold windows.
Still Not Saving Money? Let Steve’s Heating & Cooling Handle It
If you have followed all of the steps listed above and still aren’t noticing a change on your energy bill, then your HVAC unit is likely the problem. Contact Steve’s Heating & Cooling today to inquire about our HVAC repair and replacement services.
Since our inception in 1975, we have installed and serviced thousands of comfort systems throughout the Northern Kentucky area. By choosing Steve’s Heating & Cooling, you can be assured that you are getting the highest quality HVAC service!