Save Money on Winter Heating Bills

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thermometer

The following is a guest post from Toni of The Happy Housewife.

Winter is right around the corner and experts are predicting a colder than average season. This means higher than average energy bills too. Here are a few tips to help keep your bills lower this winter:

note: If you have a baby or toddler, please do not use blankets in their crib. It is worth paying the extra money on your bill to keep them safe and sound while sleeping.

  • Turn the heat down at night. Check thrift stores or your mom’s attic for blankets to use on your beds. We pull out the down comforter every year in December. It allows us to keep the house a few degrees cooler at night.
  • If you are the only one home during the day consider using a space heater for the room where you spend your time. You can warm your room, without paying to warm the rest of the home.
  • Dress like it is winter. Wearing jeans and a sweater will allow you to turn down your thermostat a few degrees.
  • Use the sun. Keep curtains open and let the sun naturally heat your home during the day. Shut them before the sun goes down to retain some of the heat.
  • Consider investing in a pellet stove. While the initial investment is large, the savings over time is great. Depending on the size of your home you can heat the entire house using only the stove.
  • Buy a blanket for the hot water heater. Many water heaters are located in the basement or garage, two areas that are colder in the winter. Investing in a blanket, which costs under $30 allows the heater to use less energy keeping the water warm.
  • Start baking. Using your oven is a great way to heat up the kitchen and eating areas of your home. Plan meals that are cooked in the oven or the crock pot to create extra warmth in the kitchen.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat. These are relatively inexpensive and give you better control of the temperature of your home.
  • Weatherproof your home. Check windows and doors for drafty spots. Using a window snake is an inexpensive way to prevent heat loss through windows and doors.

What are you doing this winter to save money on your utility bills?

Toni is a military wife and homeschooling mom of seven children. You can find her writing about frugal tips, homeschooling, military life, crafting, and healthy cooking at her blog, The Happy Housewife.


Comments

  1. Cindy says

    This is mostly good advice, but if you have an HVAC (heat pump), don’t turn down the heat at night! Getting your temp back to a livable temperature in the morning costs more than overnight maintenance does (unless it is so cold that your emergency heat is coming on anyway).

    Instead of trying to keep it lower at night and higher during the day, I just find the temperature where everyone starts complaining, then set it one degree up from that.

    • Sarah says

      BTW, HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, which is a broad category into which your heat pump falls. You should refer to your heat pump as a heat pump.

      I beg to differ about turning down the heat pump at night. You should be able to turn it down (not off!) 10 degrees or so and save money.

      One of the best ways to save money is retaining the heat that you do use by adding insulation. This can be a big cost up front but there are lots of rebates and incentives out now, plus you will see that money returned on your energy bill.

      • dan says

        You don’t want to turn a Heat Pump down 10 degrees. Maybe 1 or at the max 2 degrees. Normally when it calls for heat for more than 2 degrees it goes into using resistance heating (the heat coil) and you lose the efficiency of a Heat Pump. This will either show up as emergency heating, or auxiliary heating — the blue light or red light, depending on your thermostat will come on showing that the resistance heat is being used to supplement the heat pump. There are special thermostats made for heat pumps that increment about 2 degrees at a time to get around this problem, but they are more expensive.

  2. Cindy says

    Forgot to add also, that if you have an HVAC, only heating the room you’re in by closing off vents can be harmful to your pump. They’re built to heat a specific amount of space, and don’t function properly if you close off rooms.

    I looked all this stuff up a few days ago, btw. I’m not a heat-pump guy.
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Kidorable Giveaway =-.

  3. says

    This fall we are replacing our metal framed double paned windows with fancy schmancy thermal ones. Its taking a while since we are DIYers and that means hubby has to do it between work, school, and family time (I am pretty pregnant at this point). But once we get the outside trim up our living room will be sealed, and that was the coldest room in the house before. I look forward to being able to use our living room all winter.

    Other things we did was replace a door sweep, put additional weatherstripping on the edges of exterior doors, and caulk every hole and cranny both outside and in. (That was partly thanks to a vermin run in last fall.)
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Ice is Possible =-.

  4. Cindy says

    Terribly sorry I didn’t use the exact phrasing! I know how important that can be. =)

    Fine. Heat pump. 10 degrees, huh?
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Fisher-Price Giveaway =-.

  5. Deborah says

    Great tips. We try to keep the thermostat down but admit its hard to do on those really chilly evenings!
    .-= Deborah´s last blog ..I’m tired =-.

  6. Theresa says

    We just moved in July and our new house has fire place and a pellet stove! We are so excited to have tiny heating bills this winter! Especially since we’re having a baby in Feb and like the house to be warmer when we have a newborn at home.

  7. says

    Great tips! We’ve really learned to turn the heat down a bit and make sure we’re all dressed for the outdoor weather instead – saves a lot. Thanks for linking to Money Saving Monday!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Free Post Cereal at Kroger with Printable Coupon =-.

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