My heat is robbing me – help!
There’s a price to pay for a cozy winter. As we watch the snow falls romantically and kick our feet back in our warm, cozy home, we can feel the pinch in our pocketbooks from rising energy bills as well. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 56% of the energy use in a typical home! Therefore, it is so important for us to take the steps to save on winter heating bills.
Check out our money-smart ways to bundle up your home this winter!
1. Insulate, insulate and insulate!
Find out how much insulation you already have in your home and WHERE it is. Make sure your home is properly air sealed as well. Most houses leak and attic doors are one of the biggest offenders. Read this before you insulate your attic. The Department of Energy can get you started with its ZIP Code Insulation Calculator.
How much you’ll save: 20-30% off your monthly bill with return on investment in as little as one year.
2. Let your thermostat be the boss
Teach your thermostat how to save money and let it run your house – you can save at least 10% on your heating bills! If you don’t have a smart-phone operated thermostat, simply adjust 10 to 15 degrees cooler for the 8 hours you’re at work. If you can take it, cut it back even more during the 8 hours when you sleep and you could even save 20% more!
We strongly advise you to get a smart-phone operated/programmable thermostat to save your bills in the long run. Imagine being able to control the temperate of your home on your phone anywhere you want. Our home monitoring program for only $14.95 a month gives you the ability to monitor and control your home (from water shut offs, door locks to thermostats). You can also get a FREE programmable thermostat through MassSave*
How much you’ll save: 10-20% off your monthly bill
3. Dial up your hot water setting
Water heater account for 14 to 25% of monthly energy bill because they are on 24/7 and factory-set at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of us can live comfortably with 120-degrees water and save 3 to 5% on water heating costs for every 10 degrees of setback.
If you are looking for long term savings, reduce hot water use with low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, “jacket” the heater and wrap hot water pipes to minimize stand-by heat loss, and install a timer to take advantage of cheaper off-peak power.
For greater savings, ditch the tank entirely and invest in an energy-saving, on-demand tankless water heater. You’d save 24 to 34% of water heating cost!
4. Money flying out the WINDOWS
Those of us that live in older houses with old-fashion, outdated windows – they are big holes in your walls where money fly right through! Double-pane thermal windows arrest the heat transfer by inserting dead-air space between two panes. These energy-efficient windows enable homes to take advantage of free solar heating during the chilly winter.
How much you’ll save: 16 to 21% on annual heating costs, and return on investment as little as two years.
5. Cash going up the Chimney
Our heat’s favorite place to be: up and through the chimney. Check if your chimney’s damper is airtight by poking your hand up inside the flue and see if you can feel the draft. Most home owners place fitted glass fireplace doors over. Some leverage their fireplace by installing a heat exchanger, or installing woodstove to bring more heat into the room. Not a bad idea!
How much you’ll save: Glass fireplace doors can save 1 to 2% off your heating bill.
6. Space heaters, fans and future plans
- Reverse your ceiling fans to help circulate rising heated air down to where you need it.
- Close the doors to little-used rooms.
- Insulate outlets and light switches with switch insulators
We hope this will help you save some money and not let your house “eat” up your heating bills. While it’s nice to be warm and toasty, it is important to make sure our bank account stays cozy as well! Got more tips? Submit them to us on Twitter or Facebook!