Easy Ways To Cut Down On Heating Costs

Winter weather can be brutal. Unfortunately, so can heating costs. It's understandable to run your furnace more as it gets colder outside, and it's definitely normal to see a spike in heating costs as the temperatures get lower. Fortunately, though, you don't have to resign yourself to paying a small fortune in utilities every winter. There are things you can do to cut back on heating costs and to do your wallet a favor and avoid costly HVAC repair:

Warm Up Naturally

Many people have gotten all too used to feeling slightly chilly and automatically cranking up the heat. Take a lesson from the Europeans, however, and turn to natural heating methods first.

Outside of the United States, it's common to bundle up with extra blankets, to light a fire in the fireplace, or to wear a sweater indoors. Turning on the furnace is generally used as a last resort.

Before you reach for the thermostat, try to cozy up the natural way and only reach for that dial if you still can't get comfortable.

Run the Heat Only at Night

Even though it's cold outside, there's still sunlight. And, as long as there's sunlight, there's a free source of natural warmth.

During the day, turn the thermostat down or off and focus on bringing sunlight into the home. Open the curtains to let the light in, for example. You probably won't be home for most of the day anyway, and the stored up sunlight will allow you to turn the heat on later in the evening than usual, allowing you to run your furnace less.

Ante Up Your Insulation

In preparation for winter, it never hurts to have insulation installed or re-furbished, especially if it's been a while since your home was last insulated.

If it's too late for that or if you're not quite ready for such an investment, there are easier, cheaper ways to insulate. You can purchase "draft snakes," for example, which are tiny, stuffed cloth fixtures designed to be put under doorways to block cold air from entering rooms. Also remember to keep doors closed so heat can stay contained within a given room and maybe invest in an energy efficient space heater or two for those especially drafty spots.

Maintenance is Key

Finally, never underestimate the power of properly maintaining your furnace. Change the filters as advised by your technician, get problems checked out quickly, and follow all operating instructions.

A properly maintained furnace is one that will heat your home more thoroughly and be more energy efficient in general.