Okay, so maybe Atlanta isn’t the coldest place in which one could spend a winter. But it can still get pretty darn cold. Now that we’re well into November, it won’t be long until we’re all bee-lining it for our thermostats to crank up the heat – and chewing our fingernails as we wait for the heating bill to arrive. Even in Hot-lanta, heating bills in the winter can be killer, which is why we’ve got some tips to help you save money on your heating bill.
1. Invest in a comfy, warm winter wardrobe.
Bring on the fuzzy socks and sweatshirts! Love the flannel pajama pants! Revel in the comfort of your favorite sweats! Rather than turning the temperature up so you can wear your short-sleeved T-shirt and cotton pants, keep the thermostat down and wear layers instead. Your body’s pretty good at making its own heat, so wear clothes that will trap it and keep you warm. This will help you save energy and money.
2. Welcome the sunlight and save money on your heating bill.
You can get some natural, solar heat to pour into your home by opening the curtains or blinds on your south-facing windows during the day. Sunlight is free! Use it to get some extra heat energy in your house. There’s a reason the cat always curls up by the window. Just don’t forget to close the curtains at night to trap the heat inside.
3. Turn the temperature down at night.
Get some warm bedding, like flannel sheets and a down comforter, and turn your thermostat down before you go to bed every night. Like we said, your body gives off heat. Use warm blankets to take advantage of it. Now, we’re not talking making your home into the Arctic. Even turning the temperature down ten degrees every night can help you save on your heating bill. Remember, the name of the game is conserving energy – it’s a great way to make your home a little more green.
4. Use your ceiling fans.
Huh? Isn’t that counterproductive? Not if you run the fans in reverse. Hot air rises, which doesn’t do you much good when it gets trapped way above your head. If you run the fans in reverse on a low setting, it’ll push the hot air back to where you are.
5. Don’t heat the rooms you don’t use.
If there are rooms in your home that you don’t usually use, close the doors and shut the vents. This will divert wonderful hot air into the rooms in the home that you frequent. No need to add unused rooms to your heating bill.
6. Take it easy with the exhaust fans.
Don’t let your bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans run all the time. Turn them off right after you’re done using them, or try not to use them at all. They’ll suck the hot air right out of a room.
7. Use humidifiers.
Winter is a very dry time of the year, and the dry air feels colder than humid air. By using a humidifier or two, you’ll add some moisture back into the air, and moist air tends to hold heat better than dry air.
8. Move the furniture away from the vents.
Don’t block your vents with couches and chairs and other furniture. This will prevent the hot air from the vent from getting into the areas of the house that you want it to be. Clear a path for the warm air.
9. Close the flue on your fireplace when you’re not using it.
Leaving the flue open can let hot air escape through the chimney. When you’re not using your fireplace, close the flue to trap the warm air inside.
10. Put rugs on hardwood floors.
Having rugs on your floors can help you insulate your home. It’ll help your home feel warmer, so this is a good opportunity to decorate.
11. Boost your insulation.
If there are parts of your home that seem to be leaking heat, amp up your insulation. This is an easy way to save on your heating bill.
12. Make sure to take care of your furnace.
It’s important to change the filter of your furnace when it’s dirty, which means you should probably check in once a month or so. Then you can make sure there’s a clean filter when your furnace needs one, and this helps make the furnace’s job easier. Make sure to maintain your furnace.
13. Get an energy audit.
If heat loss is a real problem, you might need to get an energy audit. This will tell you where you can improve your energy efficiency and thus lower your heating bill. Find a reputable electrical contractor and find out if they do consultations for a reasonable rate.
High energy bills are an occupational hazard of the winter season. The instinct to combat the shivery weather might be to turn the thermostat up, but there are a few simple things you can do around the house to stay warm without having to resort to drastic measures. So, instead of cranking up the heat, try some of the above tips and save on your heating bill. Stay warm, Atlanta!