When I was a kid it was always fun to watch my dad handle the bills. My brothers and sisters would always sneak around the corner and watch, as dad would scramble to grab the statements and the calculator. He would furiously punch the machine and try to make the numbers work out. Undoubtedly he would always end up ticked off and just looking for someone to rant at. Bills were just a part of his life and he was always trying to save as much money as he could. Now that I am an adult and a parent I too am looking for ways to save a few dollars.
The biggest issue that my dad would always have would be the heating cost in the winter. I wasn’t aware of the average cost but I know that my parents were always upset that we were spending so much money on the power bill. AS the summer has passed us by and we are pushing into the middle of fall, it dawned on me that MsPrepper hasn’t spent much time talking about the issues of heating and the best ways to cut down on your heating costs. So without further ado, here are a few things to keep in mind as well as a few tips to help you cut your heating cost this winter.
- Adjust Your Thermostat
Okay, you might think that you understand this tip but I bet you missed it. The idea is to adjust your inner thermostat. It is not uncommon in the winter for a home to be overly warm. When the temperatures dip below 50, 40, 30, or even lower, it can be very easy to push the thermostat higher and higher. If you are really interested in saving some money then you need to get used to the idea of leaving the thermostat where it is set. I typically leave the thermostat on 70 in the winter. A few times I have pushed it higher but that is rare.
We have seen a marked improvement in our heating cost simply because we leave the thermostat alone. It isn’t always cycling on or off and the temperature is always the same. If it gets a little cool in the house then we just wrap a blanket around our back or we put on another sweater/sweat shirt.
- Invest In A Digital Thermostat
Now this was a real eye opener for me. Our home is old. It was built in 1947. When we first moved in to the home the thermostat was an old, 2 station style thermostat. It was not very accurate and it would therefor keep the system running longer than it needed to.
So we decided to have a digital thermostat installed and we were amazed at what we found. After the installation we noticed that the temperature of the house was more consistent. The system was running less and the power bill went down.
- Seal Your Windows
Again, this is one from experience. Our home has the same windows now that it had in 1947. It is just one of those things that we haven’t been bale to change yet. Sure we would like to have new vinyl windows installed but that is just not possible right now. The windows we have were very drafty. When the wind would blow the curtains would move. That is when we decided to reseal all the windows. That means we needed to re-glaze the windows on the outside as well as caulk around the windows inside and out. They are still not as energy efficient as new windows but they are much better than they were when we moved in.
- Seal Your Doors
Doors are one of the biggest energy losers in the home. Especially in older homes. Older doors are not always the best fit inside the frame and they can allow air to seep in or out of your home. the best way to fight this issue is to install new door sweeps and weather-stripping around your door. This will make your door almost air tight.
Hank Hill would always talk about the benefits of using propane and how it was such a great gas for your home. While I am not a huge fan of that show, I must admit that propane is a great option for heating your home. One thing that we have learned is that propane is a great supplement to your already used HVAC system. While we might let the heat run from time to time, when it gets real cold we are learning that the propane fireplace is the best way to warm the living room and the front of the house.
- Wood Stove Option
Woodstoves are on the rise in popularity. You no longer have to buy an old model because newer versions are being made everyday. If you have the proper ventilation then a wood stove could be the cheapest way to heat your home. However you need to be sure that you have plenty of firewood and that you are vigilant about the possibility of fire.
- Add New Insulation
Over time your homes insulation can become beat down or non-existent. Insulation can be used by rats to build a nest and time has a way of just making it not work as well. Why not take the time to install new insulation in your attic and under your floor. A properly insulated home is the best way to cut down on your heating and cooling costs. Look at it this way, you can pay now or you can pay later. Either way you are going to pay. Wouldn’t you rather make an investment in your home now instead of just paying hundreds of dollars to the power companies?