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5 Tips to Reduce Fall/Winter Heating Costs

It’s not the news we wanted: Sources say that it will cost more to heat American homes this winter — as much as 30% for homes using natural gas and even more for propane and heating oil. It’s an essential service we can’t do without, but the majority of homeowners want to spend as little as possible to stay comfortable this winter. Instead of layering up and making sacrifices, use these five tips to reduce fall and winter heating costs.

1. Use a Lower Thermostat Setting

Turning down your thermostat by just a degree or two won’t make a huge impact on your comfort, but it will make a difference in your monthly energy bill. According to the Department of Energy, setting back your thermostat one degree for eight hours can help you save 1% on your energy costs — about 3% per day per degree. It might seem like a drop in the bucket, but when you’re facing a 30% increase in heating costs, those saving add up quickly. (This is especially true if you pair this idea with the rest of our suggestions on this list.)

2. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programming heating schedules can take the guesswork out of comfort, especially if you can remotely control your thermostat from your smartphone. You don’t have to worry about turning down the heat when you leave for work each day or setting the thermostat when you get home and waiting for your home to warm up. Just set up a schedule one time and let your HVAC do the rest. This is a great way to optimize your energy usage so you’re only heating your home when you really need to.

3. Bake and Cook at Home

The fall and winter are prime baking seasons, and it’s not just about making and eating holiday goodies. The warmth you create in the kitchen can help to heat your home, which means you will rely less on your HVAC system. When you’re done baking, leave the oven door open for heat to escape. Bonus: once the kitchen is warm, plan to spend your evening there instead of elsewhere in the house. You can give your heating system a break and still feel comfortable.

4. Plug Small Openings Inside the Home

All the time and money you spent heating your home is wasted when small openings in your home let the heat escape. Cracks in doors, broken window and door seals, and all the little holes and crevices that appear with wear and tear can kill your energy budget. Now is a good time to do an “audit” of your home’s sealing abilities and address any issues you find. Replace weather stripping, plug holes and cracks, and enjoy a naturally warmer home this winter. (Added bonus: Doing this now will also allow you to enjoy energy savings in the warmer months!)

5. Open Blinds and Curtains During the Day

The sun still shines when it’s cold outside, so use its natural energy to heat your home this winter. Open shutters, blinds, and curtains during the day to allow sunlight and heat to enter your home. Then, when the sun starts disappearing, block your windows again to provide an extra layer of insulation.

 While you can’t control the cost of energy in your area, you can do simple things to improve your home’s heating and insulation and stay warm this winter. At Sewell Service Company, we are now scheduling inspections to ensure your heating equipment is optimized and ready to take on cooler weather. Contact us today to learn more.

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