Four Ways to Save on Heating Costs

March 3, 2015 Written by  Comments Print
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Winter may be over soon, but it's a safe bet you won't be turning off your furnace on the first day of spring. Natural gas prices are expected to rise, and oil prices are rising too, after their long slide finally bottomed out earlier this year. So, if you use either fuel to heat your home, it's going to get more expensive to do so. (Check out our blog on heat pumps to learn about an alternative to natural gas and oil heat.) With this in mind, here are a few quick measures you can take to save on heating costs until the cold finally leaves us!


Four Ways to Save on Heating Costs

Turn Down the Thermostat

If you use natural gas or oil heat, the easiest way to lower your heating bill is to lower your thermostat. “For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs,” according to the Consumer Energy Center. When you're home during the day or evening, set the temperature to 68 degrees. At night and when not at home, lower it even more. When away from home for an extended period of time, turn the set point to 55 degrees to avoid freezing pipes.

Turn Down the Water Heater

On a related note, turn down the hot water heater's temperature as well. Turn it to 120 degrees or whatever the “normal” setting it. This can reduce the costs associated with water heating by 7-11 percent.

Change Your Furnace's Filter

When was the last time you checked the filter in your furnace? If it's been a month or more, the filter probably needs to be changed. When debris accumulates in the filter, it makes it harder for the furance to draw air in. This makes the unit work harder, which uses more energy, which costs you more money. Changing the filter is very easy and will not only ensure that your furnace isn't working harder than it needs to be, but also that the air in your home is clean. You can reduce your heating costs by 5% by keeping your furnace in good shape, so consider annual furnace maintenance as well.

Close the Fireplace Damper

If you don't use the fireplace in your home, you'll want to prevent warm air from escaping up the chimney. Close the damper (but make sure there are no smoldering embers first) when the fireplace isn't in use. If you don't use the furnace at all, you can purchase a piece of rigid insulation or a chimney balloon to completely block off the chimney. (The damper still lets a little air out.)

A Home Energy Audit From greeNEWit

These four tips will help you save on your heating costs, but if you really want to see a difference, consider a home energy audit. A home energy audit will give you a detailed picture of your home's energy usage. An auditor can suggest energy efficient upgrades and practices to implement that can significantly reduce the energy usage of your home. To learn more, call today at 866.996.7630 or visit us at our website.

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