That first electricity bill after the weather turns cold can be a shock. It is easy to forget how much it costs to keep your home heated while you’re living through the warm days of summer, but the weather does eventually cool off and many homeowners face a high heating bill during the winter months. You can avoid a shockingly high heating bill by implementing a few strategies for the coming winter. This will allow you to put more money in savings so you can work toward your financial goals. Keep reading for some creative tips on lowering your heating bill and, in some cases, staying warm for free.
Drink something warm
If you are not a coffee drinker it may seem like the main reason coffee wakes people up in the mornings is the caffeine content. The caffeine is an important part of the process but the warmth that the coffee provides can help as well. The thought of getting out of a warm bed to face a cold house can be enough to keep just about anyone under the covers. However, if you have the promise of a warm drink waiting, the thought of getting up can be a little less painful. Warm drinks can help heat you up from the inside – even if the temperature in your environment doesn’t change. This is an extremely cost effective way to warm up each morning. If you are not a fan of coffee, consider hot tea as an alternative.
Do some home maintenance
The condition of your home can impact how cold it gets during the winter. If your house is drafty because of old windows, damaged weather stripping, and shrunken caulk then the cold will be able to get in easily. Doing some home maintenance can help your home stay warmer throughout the winter without increasing your monthly heating bill. Simple tasks like replacing old weather striping and caulk around windows and doors can lower your heating bill. If you want to take it a step further you can replace old windows for new, more energy efficient options. Sealing up your property can reduce your costs each month and help you stay warmer inside the house.
Change the direction of your ceiling fans
Heat rises which means that you could be losing much of the heat that is pumped into your house. Changing the direction of your ceiling fans is one way to minimize the amount of heat you lose. Reversing the direction of your fans can push down the rising heat and keep your home warmer without raising costs.
If you are trying to avoid turning on the heat in an attempt to save money, consider bundling up. Wearing warm clothes inside the house or cuddling up under the blankets is a free way for you to stay warm. Be realistic – do not completely sacrifice your comfort in an effort to save a few dollars. The typically mild winters in East Texas make it possible to save money by bundling up most of the time. There will likely be a few days, however, where you will want to turn on the heat to combat the dropping temps.
Utilize your fireplace
A wood-burning fireplace can be a major money saver during the winter. If you have one or more wood-burning fireplaces in your home, consider using them as an alternative to your heating system. A little bit of preparation – gathering branches and wood in your yard throughout the year – can give you access to free heat during the winter.
Program your thermostat
One of the biggest money-wasters when it comes to heating your home is heating it when everyone is gone. Does your house really need to be toasty warm when you are at work and when the kids are at school? Programming your thermostat to kick on and off based on your schedule is a way for you to save money on heating and cooling costs all year long.
Heat the areas where you are most often
Do you have a spare bedroom that is barely used? Is there an extra living area in your home that doesn’t get much traffic? You can reduce heating costs by only heating the areas where you spend most of your time. You can do this by turning off the thermostat and using a space heater for the room you are in most frequently. You can also shut doors of unused rooms and close off vents to those areas. The parts of the house you are using will get more of the heat with this approach and, ultimately, cost less to heat.
Get a professional tuneup on your heating unit
It is a good idea to have a professional come out and take a look at your heating unit before the cold weather moves in. Just like your car, the major appliances in your home need tuning up from time to time. A little bit of preventative maintenance can keep your heater running well and ensure that it is as energy efficient as possible.
Lowering your heating bill can become a top priority once the cold weather moves into East Texas. The winter can be a difficult time financially with the holidays and adding a high heating bill can make things even tighter. Fortunately, there are some practical steps you can take to lower your heating bill and even stay warm for free. Many people find that a combination of the strategies outlined above provide the best results. The weather extremes in Texas leave many residents looking for ways to cool and heat their homes in a more cost effective way. The good news is that most of the strategies for lowering your energy costs are quick and simple to implement.
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