The frigid winter months are upon us, and many of us are dreading what this means for our utility bills. Winter months can be costly when it comes to heating costs, especially if you have a gas furnace. However, as a homeowner, there are actually several things you can do to lessen the blow and shave a few dollars off of your utility costs. The trick is to do everything possible to keep warm air inside to save your furnace from working overtime. Our real estate agents are pros at reducing winter heating bills, and they've pulled together a list of strategies to help you do the same:
- Lower Your Thermostat
This may seem obvious, but paying attention to your thermostat is truly the easiest way to reduce your heating bill. First, avoid overheating your home and instead try to rely on blankets, warm clothes, and heat-generating activities like cooking and showering. Make it a point to keep your thermostat set to a consistent daytime (70 degrees) and nighttime temperature (68 degrees). Most importantly, turn your thermostat way down when you leave the house for an extended period of time. If you want to simplify the process of managing your home's temperature, we recommend investing in a programmable thermostat.
- Keep Your Furnace In Good Shape
A furnace that runs efficiently is key to maintaining normal utility bills. This is why we recommend having your furnace inspected each year. Not only will it help you extend your unit's lifespan, but ensuring furnace efficiency will also help reduce your heating bill. It can also pay off to have your ductwork inspected, as a leak can actually cost you hundreds of dollars each year. Finally, be sure to install a new air filter at the beginning of each winter.
- Improve Your Insulation
Doors, windows, garages, and pipes can all create cracks that allow drafts of cold air to enter your home. The more you can insulate these areas, the less cold air will make its way inside. Start with your windows and doors, and make sure you have adequate stripping. Try to see if you can feel any significant cold air drafts coming from outdoors, and add additional stripping as needed. We recommend investing in some cheap draft blockers and sealers to block off any areas near electrical outlets.
- Use a Humidifier
Believe it or not, humidifiers can actually play a major role in keeping your home warm and reducing heating costs. This is because humidity actually helps trap the warmth. Thick, moist air generally feels warmer than thin, dry air. Best of all, a humidifier will also get rid of annoying static electricity.
- Use Curtains and Blinds to Your Advantage
Optimizing your curtain and blind positions can actually work to your advantage and save you as well. On sunny days, be sure to keep your blinds and curtains wide open to maximize your home's sunlight exposure. Alternatively, close blinds and curtains at night to help trap warm air inside. By strategically adjusting curtains throughout the day, you can help your home maintain a comfortable temperature.
For inspiration on how to keep your home warm this winter without breaking the bank, check out these great Wheeling homes for sale or contact us for more tips today.