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How to reduce heating costs: Slash your bills with these 10 easy hacks! 

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Winter is just around the corner. While the onset of the cold season brings the joy of holidays, you must be worried about the unavoidable high heating costs.

Warming up your house isn’t cheap. Heating takes up a significant portion of your utility costs. With rising energy costs, many homeowners are actively looking to reduce consumption and manage household expenses.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways for perfectly heating the home while simultaneously lowering the ever-dreaded winter heating bill!

Let’s look at how to reduce heating costs this season and maintain a comfortable home environment.

1.    Let the Sun In

In the colder season, turn off your heating system during the daytime and open your windows to warm up your house. Letting the sun’s warmth inside your home will significantly impact the temperature. Also, trim any vegetation blocking the sunlight from windows to get full exposure.

2.    Use Smart Climate Control Devices

To reduce your heating costs and manage your home temperature perfectly, consider using a smart thermostat or a smart AC controller for a mini-split, window, or portable unit.

These smart devices automate your temperature/humidity preferences and help lower your energy consumption. For example, if you forget to turn off your AC while going out, it will automatically turn off through geofencing mode. Further, they can send you monthly reports about your energy usage patterns, helping you make the required changes.

3.    Improve Home Insulation

When fall season sets in, it’s the best time to weatherize your home and make all the required changes. Improving your home insulation is one of the first things you should do to maintain your ideal climate and reduce heating costs in winter.

If your insulation is old, it will require an upgrade. You have an insulation problem if the snow melts quickly from your roof and forms ice dams. Since hot air rises, heated air from your home can escape to an uninsulated attic and roof. Therefore, sealing cracks in your roof and attic can help you save a lot on heating bills.

Also, make sure weatherstripping around your doors and windows is in good condition, and your house walls are well insulated.

4.    Tune-up Your Heating Unit

Regular maintenance of your HVAC unit is key when it comes to lowering your heating costs. With all the dust and debris accumulating in your system, you will have to raise your thermostat to achieve the ideal room temperature. A dirty filter, for example, makes your heat pump or furnace work harder than it has to, increasing energy costs.

During routine tune-ups, a technician will clean the coils and air filters, check the drain pan, measure refrigerant levels, and check the working of other components. During furnace maintenance, they also clean furnace ducts with a high-powered vacuum to improve efficiency.

5.    Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Utilizing your ceiling fans in winter can help save you some bucks on your heating costs. However, you can’t keep using your fan in the same anticlockwise direction you used in the summer. Hot air rises and gathers around the ceiling, so you have to spin your fan clockwise to push the air down. But that doesn’t require much work. Most fans come with a switch that can change the direction.

6.    Seal Air Leaks

Your home loses a lot of heat through air leaks in the attic, basement, and ductwork. So when cold drafts are coming in, your heating system will have a hard time working properly, leading to an increase in bills.

Finding and sealing air leaks can help trap the warmth inside and prevent cold air from seeping in. Try methods such as visual inspection or a blower test to find air leaks in your house. Use caulking to fill all the gaps and cracks to maintain a perfect home temperature in the colder months.

7.    Bundle Up

Put on clothes according to the weather even when you are inside. Layer yourself in sweaters and jackets. Put on warm hats and fluffy socks. Use a blanket while watching TV, reading, or listening to music.

All these small changes will help lower your thermostat settings without affecting your comfort.

8.    Remove Vent Blockages

If anything is blocking your heating vents, your heating system will have to work twice as much to deliver the hot air, increasing running time and energy bills.

When the heating season sets in, make sure to remove furniture pieces or any other item away from the vents so that you get proper airflow. Also, ensure that heat dampers and registers are clean and fully open.

9.    Use a Humidifier

In winters, humidity levels drop as the cold air does not hold as much moisture as the warm air. The heating system running in your house also strips moisture from the air.

As moisture evaporates, you feel cooler and turn up your thermostat. Unfortunately, this can get expensive and increase your heating costs.

A humidifier can help without affecting your energy bills. It will replenish humidity back in your room, and moist air will feel warmer. You can then lower the temperature without compromising on your comfort. Just make sure to run the humidifier when the heat is on, and you have your bills managed in no time!

10. Bake to Warm Up Your House

Just finished baking your favorite cookies in the oven?

Leave the oven door open.

When using the oven for baking or roasting something, a lot of heat is generated. You can use that heat to help warm up your kitchen and nearby rooms. This extra heat will allow you to turn your thermostat down, lowering your heating costs.

Winter can be a challenging time to balance your budget, considering the high heating bills and all the festivities going on. However, by adopting certain habits such as focusing on HVAC maintenance, insulating your house, and switching to smart technology, you will be able to reduce your heating costs in no time!

 

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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.