How to decrease winter heating bills

A couple's bare feet resting in front of cozy fireplace

Tis the season! For many homeowners, saving money on energy while keeping your home warm poses quite the challenge. Don’t worry! With a head start on home improvements, you can decrease your monthly heating bills, maintain a toasty home and avoid repairs in the lowest temperatures of the season.

1. Tune-up or upgrade your furnace

You should begin with changing the filters in your furnace and having a technician evaluate its condition. The technician can then fix any problems causing inefficiency in your system. If you have an outdated furnace, you may want to consider upgrading to a more recent model with the Energy Star seal. These updated models produce the most heat in your home while using the least amount of energy so when monthly heating bills arrive you don’t have to worry!

2. Seal or replace your windows

Old windows can be drafty. If you have outdated windows in your home, replacing them altogether could be the most cost-effective option. Properly installed energy-efficient windows seal your home, preventing cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. If your windows aren’t too outdated, you may not have to replace them. Instead, search for areas around your windows where air is leaking and seal them up with caulk. Another way to keep hot air in is by wrapping windows in special plastic. These helpful kits come with tape strips that allow you to adhere the plastic sheets over the window frame. You can then use a small vacuum-like device to make the plastic drum-tight. This will prevent cold air from getting in through drafty windows, thereby acting as indoor climate control.

3. Use natural light

For the good of the environment, make the greenhouse effect work in your home by allowing sunlight to pour inside. By retracting your window screens during the day, you can naturally heat up a room since energy from the sun will be amplified by the glass on your window. This method is most effective with windows that get large amounts of sunlight. Disappearing retractable screens are invisible when not in use, ensuring that the most natural light possible light will enter your windows and heat the room during the day.

4. Block off unused areas

Why waste energy on rooms that aren’t being used? During cold winters, you can seal the doors, hatches or vents in low traffic areas. However, the best way to reduce air flow to these spots is by sealing them with new gaskets or door sweeps. Once these unused areas are properly sealed, the preferred areas of the house will receive a controlled concentration of heat.

5. Consider a programmable thermostat

Installing a thermostat to your home allows you to program certain features that best fit your needs. For example, you can program the system to increase the temperature of your home during the evening. Finishing work late? With this system, enjoy walking into a nice, toasty house and relax. To keep the cost of heating down, you can set the thermostat to decrease the temperature during the warmer daylight hours. This way, your furnace won’t be wasting energy heating the home when you aren’t there to enjoy it.

6. Rearranging furniture

Your furniture may be blocking important vents that carry warm air. By placing a bed or sofa over a vent, you are preventing heat to disperse about the room. This causes your furnace to work harder as it thinks it is not pumping enough warmth. Ensure that your vents are open and unblocked by rearranging your furniture. This will help your furnace waste less energy while allowing warm air to settle in your house.

Now you’re ready to relax, cozy up and enjoy the rest of the winter – the perfect time to watch a little (or maybe a lot) of Netflix!