By: Karli Willden
We have all been in the situation where we have opened the heating bill to find more digits than we were expecting. We may wonder why the bill may be so high or what we can do to lower the bill next time. The good news is there are many small things which can be done to lower your next heating bill. Here are a few tips and tricks to gradually lower your heating bill month after month, but before then, let’s first explore why heating bills may be so high.
Major Reason For High Heating Bills
Lack of Insulation
How well your house was built and insulated can determine how well it retains your desired temperature. Some homes lack sufficient insulation throughout the house, the garage or the attic which can make it difficult to heat or cool your home. The problem with lack of insulation is that it’s not a quick fix and it can be costly; however, in the long run it will be the fastest way to solving your heating issue. If you are in the middle of building a new house, make sure the builder properly insulates your home.
Unaware of Heating Costs
Many people when they move into their first apartment or home are often clueless about the local heating costs. Unfortunately, the time they find out is usually after they receive their first outrageous heating bill. Find out what the average heating bill is before flipping on the heater. Some older heaters will have a much higher bill to run than those which are newer and more efficient. Avoid the unpleasant shock of finding out that your heating bill is much higher than you expected.
Drafts make it difficult to keep cold air out and warm air in. Some houses may be more drafty than others, depending on how old the house is, so it is important to find the source.
- Check the windows and window panes; add caulking or weather strips.
- Check gaps underneath the front or garage door; replace the weather strip.
- Close unused heater vents during the day. If you are not using your heater, make sure to close the vents so cold air will not seep into your house.
- Check the attic; improve its insulation.
Little Things Do Matter
Often it is the little habits that cost us the most in our heating bill. If we could learn to use our resources more efficiently, we could cut down on excess heating and, our bills would be a lot lower. Take a personal inventory of your family’s daily routines to see where personal improvements could be made.
Do’s & Don’ts
- Keep house temperatures consistent: Some people drastically turn down or up the house temperature, instead of keeping it consistent throughout the day. A steady, consistent temperature will make it easier on the heater to produce heat and is more cost efficient. Another issue is when some are misled to think they should turn off their heater all together when they don’t use it. This misconception can actually be risky in the wintertime, and can lead to pipes bursting and a higher heating bill. When the heater is turned off and then turned on high later in the day, it makes the heater work twice as hard to produce heat.
- Adjust Heater During the Daytime: If you wanted to save more money on your next heating bill, then turn down your heating during the day. Some prefer to set the heater for around 68 or 70 during the day, when they could be comfortable at around 60 or 65. It is usually warmer during the daytime anyway, so you can turn it down an extra couple of degrees to save money on your next bill. If you are still cold, you can make up for less heat by wearing more layers of clothes. A few degrees could be significant in costs.
- Adjust Heater During the Night: You can also get away with turning your heater down a couple degrees when you go to bed at night. Keeping it a little cooler at night might actually help you sleep better. Use a few extra blankets if you get cold, or sleep with a few more layers. Do not turn the thermostat down so low it will make the heater work harder in the morning to get it back up to its normal temperature. An ideal temperature for the night is around 55 or 57.
- Close the Doors: Every attempt to keep the heat in will help. If your family is in the habit of leaving doors open longer than they should, then change. Be more conscious of how long the doors are open and close the doors immediately after you exit. When you run out to the car to grab groceries, don’t leave the doors open. Keeping the doors or garage doors closed will help to keep the heat in and the cold air out.
- Cut Shower Time: Cut down on your shower time or use less bathwater. Not only will these help on your heating bill, but you will also look less like a prune when you get out!
- Use Curtains & Rugs: A simple way to better insulate your home is through curtains and rugs. Curtains help to insulate your windows to keep the warm air inside your home. Rugs help to insulate those cold floors for your feet, and if you have blinds, closing them at night will also help to keep the heat in.
- Fireplace: If your home has a fireplace, consider using it more often. A fireplace is a great way to heat your home, so you can avoid fully relying on the house heating system. If there is a fan in the fireplace room, consider switching it on to circulate the heat throughout the house. You will be amazed how much you can save using a fireplace to heat your home.
- Reverse Ceiling Fans: Whether you are using a fireplace or house heater to heat your home, a smart trick to save money is to circulate the heat throughout the house is to turn the ceiling fans on reverse. This helps to spread the warm air to different rooms in the house and get more heat circulated.
- Reuse Heat: If you have just finished baking in the oven or filled a tub of bath water, reuse the oven’s heat and leave the bath water in a little longer to heat up the house. These small little habits of course will need to be supervised with small children around, but can be a great source of additional heat.
- Space Heater: If you have high heating bills, a space heater may be a great solution to lessen your reliance on the whole house heater. Space heaters cost much less to use, and can be a quick way to warm up. Use the space heater when needed, and turn it off when you can get by without it.
If you are having troubles with your home’s plumbing or heating in Rexburg, Idaho Falls or Pocatello, feel free to contact Mathews’ Plumbing at 208-357-3439 for more tips and information on how to cut down on your next heating bill.