Ohio Living

How to Cut your Heating Costs

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How to Cut your Heating Costs

Cut heating costs

As the “Polar Vortex” makes its return, I thought it would be a good time to revisit a few of these money-saving tips to help you keep a few more dollars in your bank account rather than spending them to heat your home!  Last year we had record-setting low temperatures as part of a record-setting winter, which unfortunately meant record-setting heat bills for many of us.  Yuck.  There are ways to help manage bitter cold temperatures without completely breaking the bank.  Here are a few:

  • Adjust the thermostat: A few degrees can make a big difference in your monthly bill.  Try wearing a sweater and dropping the temperature.  Also, consider a programmable thermostat if your house is empty for most of the day.  You can keep the temperature lower when you’re gone, and program it to warm things up when you’re scheduled to return.  We lowered our thermostat by two degrees this winter, and we all adjusted fine.  It’s making a difference in how much propane we’re using!
  • Seal windows and doors:  Check exterior doors to see if they have drafts.  If so, place a rolled bath towel against the bottom of the door to help keep cold air out.  Weatherproof your windows too–there are weatherproofing kits to cover windows with plastic sheets.  We’ve had luck with sealing drafts with this rope caulk as well–it makes a huge difference, even though our windows are only 7 years old.
  • Raise the humidity:  You know how humid days feel hotter in the summer?  The same goes for humidity in the winter–a higher humidity level will make cooler temperatures feel more comfortable.  Increase humidity by running a humidifier in the main living area, or by using a whole-house humidifier.  (It’ll also help with dry skin!)  Even boiling a pot of water or teapot on the stove can help add humidity to the house. Growing up, we always had a Cast Iron Tea Kettle on the wood burning stove to help with humidity. Currently, one of my favorite ways is using Cool Mist Diffusers in the bedrooms with essential oils. We have the Doterra Aroma Lite  in each of the bedrooms which lasts 8 hours.
  • Reduce the area you’re heating: Close doors to rooms you don’t use, like extra bedrooms, and lower the heat in those rooms a few degrees by partially closing their heat vents.
  • Use a small space heater if you’re mainly staying in one room.  This will allow you to keep the room comfortable while lowering the whole-house temperature for your furnace.  Be sure to follow all safety instructions for space heaters!
  • Lock in your rate: It may be too late for this year, so file this tip away, but many gas/propane companies will allow you to lock in a seasonal rate in the late summer or early fall.  Worth checking on for next year!
  • Lower the Temps, but Heat up the Bedroom!  It seems a waste of energy and heat to keep the house at a constant temperature when you’re sleeping.  We have amped up comfort and warmth in the bed with Fleece Sheets. I snagged them on clearance last year and we LOVE the comfort and warmth. We also have a dual Dual Heated Mattress Pad from Sunbeam. I seem to be cold all of the time, so it’s nice to have our own controls. The girls get excited to turn it on for us before they head to bed (and we get even more excited!).

Do you have more tips for how to stay warm in this bitter cold?  We’d love to hear them in the comments or on Facebook.  Thanks for sharing!

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