How to Save Big Money on Your Heating Bill This Winter

Well it’s about that time of year again. The leaves are changing colors and fall is in the air. This also method cooler weather and higher heating bills to most. If you remember back the last few years everyone experienced some major increases in their heating bills by the complete winter. I can remember local TV newscasts interviewing people that were complaining about what seemed to be an almost 50% increase in heating costs over the past years.

My usual heating bill was in the $200’s and then all of a sudden went to almost $500 per month. As it turned out, this was mostly due to price fluctuations determined by the world market similar to what we are continuing to experience at the gas pump (and it seems to be creeping back up there again at nearly $3 a gallon or more). Well, we can’t control the world markets and international shared need, we can take some measures and steps that will help lower our heating costs each month and by the winter.

Did you know that the level of humidity in your house will effect how warm it really feels? Its just like with the weather outside. for example, when you see on the news that it is 80 degrees with high humidity it can truly feel hotter than if it were 90 degrees with low humidity. This is where the term heat index comes from – this is the actual temperature with items like humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind taken into account. So, an easy way to save on heating costs is to raise the level of humidity in the house with a humidifier. It has been said that adding sufficient moisture content (humidity) to the air in ones house can easily take 10 to 30% off heating costs depending on the square footage and circulation in the house.

According to the experts at Anderson Heating and Air conditioning, another easy and effective method is proper routine maintenance. By having your heating system ordinarily checked the HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air conditioning) technician can quickly diagnose, repair and prevent loss of efficiency and costlier problems including complete substitute of the heating system. Most heating and air conditioning companies offer routine maintenance packages which are low cost and include discounts to any service work and parts. Routine maintenance will help ensure your heating system, whether it is gas, electric, etc…, is running at top efficiency and will save you money in the long run.

Another good idea if you haven’t done this already is to install programmable thermostats. This will help you know more exactly what the temperature is and what it is set to. You can also use these programmable thermostats to set your temperatures lower like 68 degrees so it’s nevertheless comfortable. By doing this you’ll save on your heating costs as it takes considerably less energy to continue the temperature of 68 than maybe 70 or 72. The only drawback? You may need some additional blankets at night time.

If you work during the day and no one else is home it would be wise to buy and install programmable thermostats so you can reduce the temperature, say to 60 degrees while you are away and to return to 68 or so degrees when you return. This little step can easily save 5 to 10% or more on your overall heating costs. And being this winter is expected to be colder and heating costs will go up at the minimum 10% any savings will definitely have a positive impact on your heating bills.

Another way to drastically save is by sealing and weather stripping all doors and windows. Check all doors which go to outside for worn weather stripping and areas where there may be air coming in. Redo the weather stripping if needed and use the upper grade, thicker stripping obtainable at Lowe’s and Home Depot. It may cost a little more, but it will definitely do a better job of sealing out the cold and keeping the warm air in. Next, check your windows. Seal any fractures and areas where you can feel a breeze coming by. If your windows are old or worn, it is best to replace with more energy efficient windows.

Another good idea is a heat tent which goes over attic entry doors and seals them. It is a proven fact that between 10 and 20% of lost energy and heat goes by improperly sealed attic doors. While you’re at it replace your air filters. Clean air filters will reduce the work load on your heating system and can easily save you 2 to 5% on your heating bill. If you do not have enough insulation in your attic and walls you can get a free blower with buy of insulation from Lowe’s and Home Depot. It is probably best to have this professionally done for best results.

So, already though gas prices are high and may be going higher, the winter is supposed to be already colder and heating costs are expected to go up you can nevertheless save on your heating costs. These ideas listed above should get you some meaningful savings this winter and make your winter heating bills a little bit more affordable in spite of of how cold this winter turns out to be.

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