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10 Ways To Cut Down On Your Heating Bill This Winter

Aug 17, 2007
With the price of oil so high this year, the threat of high home heating bills is something we are all concerned about. Whether you heat with propane, gas, oil or electric, there are steps you can take to help lower your heating bills and put some money back into your bank account.

Here are 10 things you can do right now to help lower your heat costs this winter:

1. Check Your Insulation. If you haven't looked in your attic lately (or ever!) then get up there and take a look around to make sure the insulation is in good condition. Make sure there are enough air pockets to trap cold air. Old insulation can become brittle and ineffective so if your insulation is not doing the job it might be worth the time and energy to replace it.

2. Check Your Windows. You can lose a lot of heat through the cracks around your windows and the windows themselves. Check each window and make sure it is well sealed. You can buy kits that will help you test this. Be sure to caulk and seal around windows where you find leaks, and replace any interior seals that are damaged. If your windows are old, it might be worth the money in the long run to replace them with new triple pane replacement windows.

3. Weather Proof Your Entryways. Along with the windows, check your doors for drafts. Using wearther stripping around the doors will help keep your heat from leaking out and the cold from getting in.

4. Get a Ceiling Fan. Just like you learned in 4th grade - heat rises so you want to keep the warm air down in the room, especially if you have high ceilings. Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the direction so you can use them for cooling in the summer and pushing hot air down in the winter. Be sure you run it in the right direction or you might end up with cold air in the winter and warm in the summer!

5. Shut Off Unused Rooms. If you have a room or rooms that you don't use, them keep the doors shut. Try to remember to shut doors if you will be in the room for a long time. Rooms which are used only sometimes will have the door fanned which allows cold air to escape into your others rooms. This, in turn, will make your furnace work harder and increase your heating costs.

6. Let The Sun Shine In. On sunny days, open your curtains and mini blinds but make sure you close them when darkness falls or on cloudy days. Getting insulated curtains can help keep out drafts from around the windows.

7. Get A Door Alignment. Over time, doors can sag and get out of alignment. Take a good look at your doors to see if they still fit in the casing properly. If they don't then adjust them for a tight fit.

8. Have Your Furnace Checked. Spend the money to have a professional give your furnace a checkup to be sure it is working at peak performance. This is important not only from a cost perspective but also from a safety perspective. A system that is not running as efficiently as it can will cost you money in heating bills so the money to have it inspected will be well spent.

9. Air Filter. Air filters can get clogged with ends up costing you money in fuel - it causes your heating system to run inefficiently and can be a safety hazard. Changing out the filter once a year is a good idea and something you can do yourself with minimal cost.

10. Close Your House Vents. House vents allow circulation of air during the warmer months but it's a good idea to close them at the end of fall before the real cold weather comes. Cold air seeping in can drive up heating costs and make your house feel drafty.

Taking the time to follow a few of these tips will result in lower heating bills. Also, talk to your energy provider to see if they have any suggestions. If you have oil or propane, sometimes you can get on a prebuy plan where you buy the product in summer at the price it is then which is usually lower than in the winter. This is a bit of a risk since if the price goes down you will be paying more for your heating then if you didn't pre pay, but I don't see much chance of the prices going down, do you?
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://heating.pagechic.com where you can learn more about different types of home heating and how to heat your home more economically.
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