How to Keep Your Heating Bill Low This Winter

There’s nothing better than coming home to a nice, warm house on a cold winter’s day. The only issue with this is how much our heating bills can shoot up during the winter. If you’re looking for a way to save some money this year, we’re explaining how to keep your heating bill low while still staying cozy this winter.

10 Effective Ways to Keep Your Heating Bill Low:

1. Seal Air Leaks

Small cracks and holes can make a big difference, especially on your heating bill. In fact, between 25% to 40% of your heating bill accounts for air lost through small leaks. It’s easy to figure out where your air leaks are. All you need is a piece of paper and a blustery day.
The next time it’s windy and you have a day at home, hold a piece of paper up to your windows. If the paper starts moving with the wind, you know there’s an air leak. Fixes are easy. Just reapply weatherstripping to your windows or caulk up any small cracks or holes. You can do the same for your light fixtures. When it comes to the door, a visual inspection should suffice because it’s so big.

2. Open the Curtains

The sun is incredibly powerful, so much so that during the summer we tell you to tightly draw your blinds to keep it out. However, you should do the opposite during the winter. Leave your curtains and blinds open during the day to harness any heat from the sun. Then close them at sundown.

3. Dress for the Season

Santa Rosa one of the places in California where we get all four seasons. This means it’s time to put away the sundresses and pull out the sweaters. A practical way to keep warm is to actually dress for the season. Pull out your leggings, joggers, sweaters, and scarves and embrace the coziness of the fall and winter. Don’t forget to get your home ready as well. Put flannel sheets on the bed for extra warmth at night and if you have hardwood floors, put down a carpet or two. And don’t forget the comfy slippers.

4. Check and Change Your Air Filter

If there’s one thing we wish to see more of, its homeowners checking and changing their air filters. Routinely checking your air filter is one of the best ways to maintain your HVAC system. Most people don’t know this, but the air filter is a very important part of any HVAC system. It traps dust, dander, allergens, and other airborne particles. This helps one, keep the system clean and free of any clogs; and two, keeps your indoor air clean and healthy.
All air filters get full and need to be cleaned or replaced. The length of time between replacements all depends on the type of filter you buy and the environment your home is in. Stronger air filters will last longer than a thin fiberglass one. Also, if you live in an area with lots of dust, or live with a long haired animal, you’ll probably need to change your air filter more often. At Moore Home Services, we recommend changing your air filter at least twice per year. Once in the spring and once in the fall.

5. Close the Doors

Are there any rooms in your home that mostly get left alone? We’re talking about guestrooms, offices, or a guest bathroom. To save money on heating these rooms, simply close the door. We said close the door, not the supply or return vents. We’ve heard more than a few homeowners say they believe in closing the vents to unused rooms. We are telling you to not do this. Closing the vents in unused rooms can actually add money to your utility bills and cause damage to your system. This is why we’re telling you to close the doors instead. Your HVAC system automatically creates enough air for your entire home, no matter if the vents are open or closed. Closing the vents means your system has excess air and nowhere to send it to. This excess air can cause a pressure to buildup in your system. This can cause a safety switch to go off, or even tear a hole in your ductwork. By leaving the door closed, you’re sealing in the warm air. This tells your furnace to stop creating air for that room, which will help lower your energy bill.

6. Check Your Insulation

During the winter we like to be tucked in with a nice, warm blanket. What if we said you could do the same for your home? Insulation is that warm, cozy blanket for your home. It seals in any heat and naturally stops the cold, winter air from getting in. During the summer, insulation keeps your home cool, same effect, just different temperatures.
A great thing about insulation is that it has a reputation of lasting a very long time. While we do agree that insulation can last a long time, that only happens under the best conditions. However, a lot of homes in Santa Rosa are not the best conditions for insulation. Insulation has a natural enemy, moisture, and mold. When moisture is trapped in your attic—which can come from almost anything, a small roof leak or even condensation from your HVAC system—it can get insulation wet. This wet area makes an inviting home for mold growth. During a furnace tune-up, a Moore Home Services HVAC technician will check your insulation and let you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

7. Use the Oven

When it starts to get cold out, there’s nothing better than making some hearty comfort food. This is also one of our favorite ways to heat the home. The fall and winter are when you’ll want to be cooking with your stove and oven. Your range can act as a natural heat source and keep your kitchen—and any surrounding areas—warm long after the cooking is over.
After everything is done cooking, you can put a wooden spoon in your oven door to let out any excess heat. Just remember to turn your oven completely off before doing this.

8. Turn Down the Thermostat

Ok, we know how ridiculous this sounds, but hear us out. It’s a common practice for people to come home and blast the thermostat on a cold day. However, the idea winter thermostat setting is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 68 is the perfect temperature because you can still keep your home nice and cozy, but not push your HVAC system harder than necessary. Just remember to dress for the season! It’s important to remember that a furnace only heats a certain amount of air at a time. Meaning that no matter what temperature you set the thermostat, your home won’t get warmer faster. Choose the most optimal setting to reduce heating bills.

9. Don’t Forget Your Fireplace

There’s nothing better than winter nights in front of the fireplace. Just remember to adjust your damper or there’s more than smoke going out the chimney.
Too many homeowners leave their chimney damper open, and this allows for a lot of heat treated air to escape into the world. Remember to close the damper after the fire is out to reduce heating bills this winter.

10. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up

Second to checking and changing your air filter, the best thing you can do for your HVAC system is to schedule routine tune-ups. At Moore Home Services, we believe in two tune-ups per year. Once in the spring, and once in the fall. During a furnace tune-up, one of our techs will clean and inspect every part of your system, making sure there are no hiccups for the season ahead. Call the number at the top of the screen or click here to schedule a furnace tune-up today!