5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill
We all know that New Jersey can get cold in the winter which means high heating bills. Whether you’re in the city, suburbs, country, or down the shore, you want to keep your house warm, but hate how expensive it can be. You turn down the thermostat, wear warmer clothes, but the bills are still outrageous. You’re tired of it but aren’t sure what to do. Here are 5 easy ways to cut your heating costs.
Let It Flow
Heat can’t heat if it can’t flow. Blocked vents, covered radiators, closed baseboard dampers, closed registers and such will interfere with heating your home and could cause cold spots. Making sure vents aren’t blocked doesn’t cost anything but a few minutes of your time and will result in a much more comfortable house. Rechecking every so often is a good habit to get into so you’ll know if your vents, registers and such are clear.
Plug the Leaks
Air leaks can plague your home and cause cold spots, cold rooms, increase costs and generally make things uncomfortable.
Here are some places to check for leaks:
- Windows – Drafty and leaky windows can be a major cause of heat loss. If your windows are old, single pane windows, and if your budget allows, these should be replaced with new, double or triple pane insulated windows. If your windows are good, make sure they’re caulked properly. Dried or missing caulking can allow heat to escape. Also make sure your basement windows are properly caulked.
- Doors – Your exterior doors can also let a large amount of heat out. Check the weatherstripping on all your doors. If it’s damaged or old, replace it. It’s easy to do and you can get what you need at your local hardware store or home center. Also check any basement doors as well.
- Plugs and Light Switches – One source of heat loss that’s often overlooked is your electrical sockets and light switches. Since they’re uninsulated and often have no insulation around them, especially in older homes, they can significantly affect your heating costs. You can buy insulation kits at your local home center. It’s easy to install and will definitely make a difference.
- Fireplace Dampers – An open fireplace damper can let a lot of hot air escape up the chimney. Make sure you keep it closed when not using the fireplace and to close it after you’re finished using it and the fire is completely out.
Lower Your Thermostat
It’s that simple. Lower your thermostat and save money. Lowering your thermostat by two degrees can save up to 10% on your heating costs. Turn it down by 10 degrees when you leave for work or go out and when you go to bed. A low-cost alternative is a programmable thermostat.
You can program it to fit your schedule and many new ones can be controlled by an app on your smartphone.
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer or old movies (Here’s looking at you, Humphrey Bogart). Using ceiling fans can keep the heat from collecting at the ceiling. By keeping the air circulating, ceiling fans can even out the temperature in a room or even in your house, so the heater doesn’t come on as often. With the more even temperatures, your home will feel much more comfortable.
Your Heating System
Heating system maintenance is a must. It’s no different than keeping your car maintained. It’ll keep your heating system running efficiently for a long time. Changing out the air filter regularly will allow your system to work more efficiently. It’s just like changing the air filter in your car. It allows the engine to breathe easier and a clean filter will allow your heating system to breath easier. If you have an air handler, make sure the filters are changed as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
Have your furnace serviced regularly. Oil-fired systems and gas systems should be serviced annually. Have your system checked BEFORE the heating season begins. That way, Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating will be able to get to you quickly! We’ll also be able to find any problems and correct them, so you’re not left out in the cold. And you won’t have to pay extra for an emergency call.
What to Do Next
There are a lot more ways to save on your heating bill this winter, but these are some of the major ways to save. One thing you should do is have an energy assessment performed on your house. They’ll check for any air leaks, potential problem areas, and if your heating system is in need of replacement. A new, Energy Star rated heating system can definitely save you money in the long run and the NJ Clean Energy program offers energy rebates you might qualify for. While the cost of the new system and installation will be expensive, it will pay for itself over the long run with overall lower fuel and heating costs. Getting started on your home energy assessment and other actions to save money this winter is easy.
To get started on your home energy assessment or for more information, call your local utility company, contact Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating, visit these websites or call the number for the NJ Clean Energy Program: