For some homeowners, it can be difficult to maintain a warm home without having to pay out the rear-end in energy bills. If this is a concern that you are currently experiencing or believe you will, here are four inexpensive ways to help reduce your heating costs this winter:
1. Utilize the Sun – It's Free!
The sun should become your best friend. It is a free source of heat that you can allow into your home by opening up the blinds and curtains on your windows that face the south. When the sun sets, make sure that you close your window blinds and curtains to reduce the cold air that will try to creep inside.
2. Put Bubble Wrap on Your Windows.
Bubble wrap may be typically used for packing, but it can also help to keep the heat inside your home. It isn't expensive to get your hands on, especially when you consider the fact that securing the bubble wrap to your window will save reduce your home's heat loss by half. All you need to do is cut the bubble wrap to fit inside of the window frame, spray the glass with a little bit of water, and stick the bubble wrap on.
3. Lower Your Thermostat Before Going to Bed.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 15 percent on your yearly heating costs by adjusting your thermostat down for eight consecutive hours. You will need to reduce the temperature by at least 10 degrees. Ultimately, you should do this is at night when you go to bed. You may need to grab an additional blanket or two to throw on your bed in order to stay warm all night, but it will be worth it if you desperately need to save money on heating expenses. Also, if you can stand the chill in the mornings, leave the thermostat down until you get home in the afternoon.
4. Keep a Clean Filter in Your HVAC Unit.
Most heating systems have some sort of filter in it to capture dirt, dust, etc. When the filter gets extremely dirty and is not changed, it causes congestion and stress on the unit. This can then lead to a shorter lifespan for the unit as well as an increase in your energy bills. The Department of Energy says that you can combat this by changing your air filter on a monthly basis.
If you have done all of the above and are still experiencing high heating bills, you may want to consult with an HVAC professional because there may be a problem with your heating system.