Tips to Lower Your Heating Bills

It’s that time of the year again to begin paying those heating bills. With this year’s heating costs expected to be the highest ever, it is extremely important to find ways to keep your house warm and your heating system working efficiently. The question is, what can you do to your home to help reduce your heating cost?

The exterior openings of you home have the greatest potential to have a negative impact on your heating costs. These openings include your doors, windows, skylights, dryer vents and fireplaces. Doors and windows should be made draft-free by adjusting sills and gaskets so airflow is restricted. If your windows are single pane, or extremely drafty, consider using plastic sheets that can be taped over your windows. This secondary layer not only stops the air but also creates a stagnant airspace that actually acts as an insulator. Skylight blinds should be at closed at night and opened during the day. Dryer vents should seal completely and be free of lint that may make vent doors stick open. Fireplaces can cause an extreme amount of heat loss. The natural venting that keeps smoke out of your house also pulls out heat as well. When you are not burning a fire, keep the flue vent and fireplace doors closed and check for drafts. If you feel drafts, find safe and effective ways to seal those areas.

A smooth-running heating system is a surefire way to help reduce heating costs. There are many possible solutions, but each depends on the type of system you have. An oil-fired boiler, which circulates hot water through baseboards, should be cleaned each year. The build up of soot and carbon does not allow heat to transfer to the water that heats your home. You should also vacuum heating baseboards thoroughly. This will promote a good, constant airflow that will heat your rooms more efficiently. If you have an electric forced air system, it is very important to clean or replace the heating filters. A dirty filter will cause the forced air system’s fan to work harder than usual using more electricity. Cleaning your ductwork will also help to promote good airflow and reduce bacteria growth.

No matter what type of system you have, there is usually a way to make it more cost-effective and living environment more comfortable. The first step to lowering your heating bills is to be aware of possible problems and take actions to fix them. It is much better to be proactive in eliminating your home’s heating weaknesses. Don’t just sit back and hope for a mild winter!

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