If it seems that your utility bill just keeps getting higher every year, it’s probably not your imagination. While the cost of natural gas has declined somewhat, oil continues to increase in cost. You may also be seeing the results of the move to renewable energy where a number of utility companies are now buying more of their energy from more expensive sources such as wind and solar power and have passed this increased cost onto consumers.
Simple things you can do to cut your heating bill
There are some very simple things you can do to either save money on your heating bill or at least keep it under control. For example, if you have a fireplace, make sure you keep the damper closed when you’re not using it. Hot air tends to rise and if you leave that damper open, a lot of your heated air will rise up through it and disappear into the ether.
Another small thing you can do for saving money in your heating bill is to change your furnace filter on a regular basis. This generally means once a month. If you replace your filter monthly during the heating season, this alone can cut your heating cost by as much as 5%.
Caulk and weather strip
If your goal is to reduce your heating costs, you need to make your home as airtight as possible. If you have spaces around your windows and doors where warm air can escape, it’s like throwing dollar bills out into the street. Caulking compound is very inexpensive as is weather stripping. You should be able to get all the materials you need to make your house airtight for less than $20. You can apply that caulking and weather stripping in less than a day and this will help cut your heating bill dramatically.
Lower the setting on your thermostat
You may be comfortable living at 70 degrees but your home doesn’t have to be that warm when you’re not there. You could set he thermostat down to as low as 60 degrees if you won’t be `home all day. You should also be able to set the thermostat down when you go to bed to say 60 degrees or 65 degrees.
Since its sometimes difficult to remember to turn the thermostat down when you leave or to turn it back up when you get home, a good way to save money is what’s called a programmable thermostat. You can probably buy one at a Home Depot or Lowe’s for $60 or less. You can then program the thermostat to turn down the temperature when you go to bed at say 11:00 PM and then back up to a cozy 70 degrees at 5:30 AM before you get up – so you would have a warm house waiting. You could also program it to turn down the temperature to 60 degrees when you go to work at 8:00 AM and then back to 70 degrees shortly before you get home in the evening.