60+ Tips To Save on Heating Costs
Choose what energy to use.
- Heat your home with energy that is the cheapest in your area.
- Consider investing in solar heat. It may be initially expensive, but you will be able to recover your cost and save over time.
- If there are a lot of wood in your area, contact a professional to install a wood burning stove.
- Test if your home is air-tight. When there’s wind, hold a lit incense stick, a ribbon or a feather on windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, ceiling fixtures , attic hatches, etc. to see if there’s draft.
- Create an airlock by enclosing your front or rear porch. This will keep warm air from rushing out every time an exterior door is opened.
- Ask your local electric or gas utility for free or low-cost energy audit. This could reveal inexpensive ways to save money on heating.
- Caulk and weather strip doors and windows that leak air. Look especially at places where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings and soffits over cabinets. Put caulking around window frames and doors from the inside.
- Use foam sealant around larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out.
- Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Seal gaps around pipes, wires, chimney, dryer vents, and so on. Caulk baseboards.
- Look for dirty spots in your insulation such as the ceiling paint or carpet. These indicate holes where the air leaks into or out of your house. Use low-expansion spray foam to plug the holes.
- Repair holes in roof, walls, doors and windows where heat may escape.
- Attach a quality adhesive-backed weather stripping that can be attached to the sides and tops of any door frame. Choose a V-shaped weather stripping that creates a seal when it makes contact with the door’s edge. Even if the door warps over time the seal is maintained.
- Insulate floors over unheated spaces such as the basement, any crawl space or your garage.
- Make sure that your attic is properly insulated with 6 inch to a foot thick insulation. This is where the warm air rises into. If the insulation is not good enough, heat is wasted.
- Weatherstrip your attic door to prevent heat from escaping.
- Install a programmable thermostat and set it as low as is comfortable (or 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees during the night). At night when you are cozily wrapped in your blanket, you can set the thermostat even lower. Also, turn down the heat when you are not at home, and set it to go on a few minutes before you arrive. A programmable thermostat can easily cut your energy bill from 10% to 20%.
- Be sure your thermostat is in an area that is typically not too cold nor too hot.
- Turn on the heat only when it’s winter or if the temperature outside is below freezing.
- Lower the thermostat while you are away. A temperature setting of 60° is recommended, but you may want to adjust the temperature a few degrees higher or lower, depending on the amount of insulation in your home and your local climate.
- At daytime, keep the curtains and shades on your south-facing windows open to let the sunlight in. Do what it takes to have the sun’s warm rays enter your house, including pruning branches from trees that block the sunlight.
- Plant trees in your yard because trees break the cold winter wind before it reaches your house.
- Install thick door curtains and heavy curtains in main rooms to keep heat in. It also helps if you close the curtains at dusk.
- Close doors and vents in rooms that you are not using. Heat only rooms that are in use. Areas you can close off include the attic, garage, basement , spare bedrooms and storage areas.
- Use storm or thermal windows and doors. The layer of air between the windows acts as insulation.
- Install door sweeps on the bottom of your doors to keep cold air outside from leaking in.
- Install storm windows or double pane windows with high-performance glass (low-e or spectrally selective). They can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25 to 50%. Weather strip the storm windows at all movable joints.
- Make sure windows and doors close well so they do not let any cold air in.
- Remove awnings from sun-exposed windows during winter months.
- Stick commercially-available clear plastic sheet on the inside of your window frames to provide more insulation for your windows, and to block against draft. The plastic film should be sealed tightly to the frame.
- Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.
- Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to force warm air near the ceiling down.
- Use the kitchen exhaust fan covers. They can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement.
- During winter months, arrange furniture away from outside walls.
- Wear thick clothing around the house like sweaters and pants so that you will not have to turn the heat as high. Use new synthetic clothes that are best for thermal layering.
- At night and when sleeping, add a layer of clothing or wrap yourself with an extra blanket so you can turn the thermostat down. Consider a heated mattress pad so you can turn down the temperature even lower. The cost of electricity it takes to heat your bed is much smaller than the cost of heating the whole house a few extra degrees at night.
- An electric blanket is much less expensive than heating your bedroom
- Use space heaters to heat only the rooms you are in when you are alone, instead of firing up the main heater.
- Check efficiency ratings before buying any portable heater.
- Buy an an energy-efficient furnace with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 90% or more.
- Before winter begins, have a qualified technician inspect and clean your heating system to ensure that it is running efficiently and safely.
- Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed. When filters get clogged by dust and dirt, warm air takes a longer time passing through the filter, losing some of its warmth in the process.
- Have your furnace serviced by an experienced professional once a year.
- Turn off your furnace pilot light when you don’t need heat, such as in summer or whenever you go away an extended period of time in the winter.
- Make sure that furnace cold air register is not obstructed.
- Don’t close your vent. It is typically not a good way to save on energy costs. Heating and cooling systems balance their airflow, and if it is restricted, it can cause the furnace to operate at the upper limit of its designed temperature rise which can lead to several problems with the furnace itself
- Check ductwork in the attic or basement crawlspace for leaks, disconnections and obstructions.
- Insulate ducts that pass through unheated spaces such as the attic or crawlspace. This will prevent losing up to 60% of your heated air before it reaches the register or the cover of the duct.
- The warm air plenum and at least the first 3 meters (10 feet) of warm air ducting should be insulated.
- Wrap heating ducts with duct tape where exposed to cold air.
- Seal all joints in the ductwork with a special water-based duct mastic sealant to eliminate warm air leaks.
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, or radiators and make sure they are not blocked by furniture, curtains or carpeting.
- Vacuum the air registers once a month.
- Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
- Keep your radiators dust-free. Dust serves as an effective insulator and keeps the heat from efficiently spreading from the radiator.
- Install low cost fire place modifications (such as a flue-top damper, fireplace grate or glass doors)
- Check for cracks around fireplace. Keep heat in by caulking all cracks
- When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. Fireplace inserts, covers, glass doors, and flue sealers, also help to prevent heat loss through your fireplace chimney. Remember the warm air as well as the smoke escapes from the chimney.
- Reduce fireplace heat loss by using a glass front or a glass screen.
- Fireplace flues are made from metal, and over time repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They are made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat.
- Check to see if you qualify for any government assistance for your heating bills, if you have low income or are a senior.
- Check tax breaks and rebates when buying an energy-saving items.
Fully insulate your home.
Manage your thermostat.
Manage your home.
Manage your clothing.
Use space heaters.
Manage your furnace, ducts and vents.
Manage your radiator.
Manage your fireplace.