Lower your heating bill this winter. For many Americans, with rising oil prices, winter heating bills have risen to an all-time high. Some families are struggling with new debt as a result of their inability to pay. It is not uncommon to hear of families with bills for heat in the hundreds of dollars each month. The winter months are no joke. You must keep you family warm without breaking the bank.
Rather than feeling hopeless about the cost of fuel, take some proactive measure to lower your bill if possible. Here are some ideas to cut your heating bill this winter:
1. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees. This does not mean you have to sit in your house
and freeze, but turning your heat down a few degrees would lower your heating
bill 2-3% for each degree. It would not be that hard for your family to get
used to a change of a degree or two or three. Throw on an extra sweatshirt and blanket if needed. This will help reduce heating bills.
2. Close your curtains when possible at night. If you have insulated curtains and you keep them shut, this will help block any drafts that may get through your windows. Another thing to remember is to make sure that every window in your house is locked for the tightest seal against the wind/elements.
3. Be sure to have your furnace serviced annually. Every fall, before the cold weather comes, have your furnace serviced. This can save anywhere from 3-8% on your heating costs each year, plus you ensure that your furnace will last longer.
4. Seal any cracks in your
home to lower your heating bill. Do a thorough search through your house. Look around windows,
doors, and chimneys. For a quick fix of any small cracks, use the expanding
foam insulation spray.
5. Let the sunlight in when the sun is shining! Open up your shades and curtains, and let the heat of the sun’s rays help to warm your home. (Don’t forget to close them at night, though).
6. Limit your hot-water usage. Do not take super long showers.Turn your water heater up so that the water is not so hot.
clothing with a cold-water detergent. Every time you use hot water, you are
burning extra fuel. I wash all of my clothes in cold water except for socks and underwear. They need a good hot washin.
8. Put storm windows and storm doors on your house. This saves by helping you keep the cold air out more effectively. If you don’t have them on your home now, add them one at a time. Each one will help you reduce your heating bill.
8. Make sure you have outlet covers in all the outlets. Believe it or not, in many older homes, you can actually put your hand in front of the outlets and feel cold air blowing in. Even if you do not have young children, make sure your outlets are covered to prevent this cold air from entering your home.
9. Costco has a fantastic space heater for your bedrooms. Taking up your electricity instead of your gas.
10. Sealing windows with plastic film is also a great way to keep out the cold. It's a very cost effective solution to drafty windows. You can learn how at instructables.com
If heating is really a struggle for you, and you are a low-income
household, check with your state and county government. Often there are
low-income energy assistance programs available to help you pay. It is
at least worth checking into.
Other more drastic measure to lower your heating bill can include using an alternative heating source such as solar panels, or installing a pellet or wood stove. These ideas are sensible, but you have to have the money to invest in them initially.
If you work from home you may be eligible to right off your heating bills. However, you must have a dedicated home office inside your home to right off any utility bills on your taxes. Always check with your CPA before doing anything.