Thursday, October 1, 2009

Saving Money on Home Heating

Today is a good reminder that the season of cooler weather has arrived. We are supposed to be expecting our first snow of the year where I live (early, I know!). The air has chilled and the wind has picked up. Brrr! I thought I would expand upon that subject by addressing how to save money on home heating this fall and winter. Let's bring on some weatherization ideas!

First, before the heater is even turned on (if you have a gas furnace like we do), make sure you put in a new filter. Not only does it improve the quality of air that you are circulating through your house, but it also increases your heater's efficiency. A very dirty filter is not only disgusting, it's also a fire hazard. Make sure to change these every 3 months.

Last year, my husband went around to all of the windows outside and sealed them with caulk. I am so glad he did this, because as he went around the windows on the house, we discovered that this had never been done on our home before we moved in. We definitely saw a decrease in our heating bill last winter, despite it being one of the nastiest winters on record. Because not as much heat was escaping our home, the furnace didn't kick on as often as before.

Another thing I did last year that made a difference is that I made some draft blockers to place at the bottoms of the doors leading outside. I have seen these for sale at home improvement stores for around $10 a piece, but if you want to save even more you can make your own. I took some old blue jeans and cut and sewed them into a tube a little bit longer than the length of our entry doors. I put in some dried beans (for weight to hold them in place better), stuffing, dried beans again in the middle, some more stuffing, and dried beans again on the end, then I hand sewed them shut. These have also helped keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

We have made a habit of turning the heat down when we leave the house. It doesn't need to be as warm if no one is there using the house. We usually turn it down to around 65 degrees when we are away from home, and keep it around 70 when we are home. Some people also turn down the heat when they sleep and just throw on an extra quilt, but we prefer not to do that because of having children who often wiggle their way out from under the covers as they sleep. Use common sense as you look for ways to conserve energy and save!

These are just some basic ways to save on your heating bill. They are not limited to just these, but these are some of the things that we have done to reduce our energy consumption and our heating bill. Feel free to post your ideas, or things that you have done to reduce your bill! :)


No comments: