As temperatures plummet across much of the US, most of us are turning up the heat in our homes in an effort to offset the season’s chill. Unfortunately, this means monthly heating bills will also increase. While a jump in costs is to be expected, the good news is there are ways to ensure your winter utility bills don’t skyrocket or jeopardize your budget.
Get It Checked
Having your heating system checked annually is a good habit to get into, and one that is worth it as an efficient, well-running system will save money in the long run. Not only will the technician replace dusty air filters, but they’ll look for safety issues as well.
Update Your System
Do you know how old your furnace is? According to the latest statistics from the US Department of Energy (DOE), today’s super fuel-efficient systems are exponentially better than their older counterparts. With utility bills expected to rise this year, purchasing a new, highly efficient system can make a big difference for years to come.
Turn It Down
If you and your family are away for most of the day, lowering the thermostat by seven to ten degrees can help. The DOE says doing so for eight hours each day during winter can reduce energy bills by 10%. Similarly, using a smart thermostat that can be regulated remotely, such as one from ecobee or Google Nest, is a cost-effective way to save money.
Winterize Windows and Doors
It’s important to check doors and windows annually for drafts that can quickly drain energy bills. Protect windows by installing storm windows outside, while a less expensive option would include putting up plastic insulation inside of them. Purchasing door draft stoppers are another low cost way to keep heating bills at bay.
Let The Sunshine In
Obvious as it may sound, remember to pull up the shades and let the sun shine through – especially on south-facing windows – so it can help heat your home. Of course, don’t forget to close the blinds at night to protect against cold or drafty windows.
If you have any questions about budgeting, our member specialists are here to help. Contact us today!