Save money on heating your home

heating your home
With the chill of winter just around the corner there is no time like the present to take some simple steps to saving money on heating your home.  You can make a difference in the cost of heating your home for as little as $9.  Taking simple steps now can make you more comfortable financially and in warmth for the winter.

Here are 9 simple steps to saving money on heating your home:

  • Bringing your attic insulation up to code for your region is one of the most cost-effective ways to winter-proof your bear cave. The Department of Energy can get you started with its ZIP Code Insulation Calculator.  We did this a few years ago.  In my 1900 square foot home it cost us about $400 to have additional insulation blown into our attic.  We notice a difference with the warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer with the additional insulation.
  • Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Keep in mind that a payback period of less than three years, or even five years, usually will save you lots of money in the long-term.
  • You can save 10 percent on your winter heating bills by adjusting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler for the eight hours you’re at work, according to the Department of Energy. Cut it back an additional eight hours when you sleep and you might save 20 percent.  The best way to do this is to invest in a programmable thermostat.  You can pick this one up from Amazon for $24
  • Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling loss.
  • Use window coverings to block or let in sunshine. In summer, use these coverings to block sunlight, keeping your house cool. In winter, open the coverings to let sunshine warm the house. You could easily save more than $100 annually while being more comfortable.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans: It will help circulate rising heated air down to where you need it.
  • Close heating vents and doors to little-used rooms.
  • Insulate outlets and light switches with inexpensive switch insulators to eliminate these small but numerous energy leaks.  I was surprised to feel how much air flow was going through my outlets.  The insulators are super easy to install – you just need a screwdriver. You can do 18 outlets for under $9 with these from Duck Brand
  • Replace the light bulbs you leave on longest with CFL, or compact flourescent light, bulbs. They use 75 percent less energy and save $40 in energy costs over their lifetime.