While it’s the first day of spring, it’s still snowy for most of the country. With high fuel prices and tightened budgets, the cost of heating your home to ride out the last of the cold weather might seem to be pretty steep.
There are ways to save on heating your home, ways that will help you close out this winter and keep costs low for the next. It doesn’t require totally winterizing your home either, just a few simple changes in your habits.
- Switch from a manual to a programmable thermostat.
ENERGY STAR, the joint program between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), estimated that the average home can save around $180 a year in energy costs by using programmable thermostats.
- Adjust your water heater.
By lowering the thermostat on your water heater by ten degrees, you can save anywhere from three percent to five percent on costs. Properly insulating your water heater can bring an additional savings of four to nine percent.
- Use curtains and blinds.
Curtains and blinds aren’t merely decorative; drawing them after the sun goes down provides extra insulation for your windows, while opening them in the daytime hours allows for warming sunlight to come in.
- Protect against drafts.
You don’t have to use weather stripping to insulate your windows and doors from chilly drafts. Window and door draft blocks (snakes, stoppers, guards) can be made from sand, airtight plastic food bags, and fabric for style.
- Make sure heating vents are clear.
It doesn’t do you or your home any good to have your heating vents blocked by furniture. Make sure that they’re free and clear of any obstacles so your furnace or HVAC doesn’t have to work twice as hard to heat your house.
Our friends at Money Crashers have six more ways you can lower your heating bills and save money.