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Tips to lower your heating bill this winter

Winter is coming, and with it, higher heating bills. Here are some tips that will help you keep your home warmer without having to pay a fortune.

Winter heating bills forecast to be costly

The holiday season is bringing with it lower temperatures, and this time of year often causes heating bills to skyrocket. Below are some tips that could help you keep your heating expenses down.

Here are some adjustments you could make to your home that will not cost you a single penny.

Tips to lower your heating bill this winter

Close doors and curtains

Close doors to unused rooms and keep curtains, drapes, and blinds closed at night to retain heat.

Open blinds and curtains

During the day, let natural light help the inside of your home stay warm. Open your blinds and curtains to take advantage of sunlight, and let it heat your home naturally.

Dress warmly

Wear your most comfortable warm clothing indoors and use blankets to stay cozy. This allows you to keep the thermostat lower without sacrificing comfort.

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Maximize your time in the kitchen

Use your time in the kitchen efficiently by preparing your meals during colder hours. Using your oven and stovetop contributes to heating your home. After cooking, leave the oven door open to let the heat escape into the kitchen.

Check that nothing is blocking your vents

If you have a forced air heating system in your home, you should make sure that nothing is blocking your vents. This system employs air as a transfer medium for heat, and relies on vents to distribute air throughout your home. Blocked vents will stop the warm air from circulating properly, and this may force you to unnecessarily turn up the heat. Check that there are no items getting in the way of your vents from doing their job such as pieces of furniture.

Other tips for keeping your heating bills down

The following tips may cost you a little bit of money, but the savings on your heating could offset it in the long run.

Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances

If your heating appliances are already old, consider getting energy-efficient upgrades, such as a high-efficiency furnace or heat pump. This will take some investment, but it will lead to reduced overall energy consumption.

Regular heating system maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance for your heating system to ensure that it operates efficiently. Replace air filters as recommended.

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Seal ducts, leaks, and gaps

Check for leaks in your heating ducts and seal them to prevent heat loss. Properly sealed ducts improve the efficiency of your heating system.

Watch out for drafts around windows, doors, and other openings. Seal gaps with weather stripping or caulk to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.

Use zone heating

Heat only the rooms you are using by using space heaters or zoning systems. This can be more energy-efficient than heating the entire house.

Use draft stoppers

Place draft stoppers at the base of doors and windows to minimize heat loss.

Insulate windows, attics, and walls

Use thermal curtains or window film to keep cold air out and warm air in. Consider adding insulating shades or blinds. Adequate insulation in the attic and walls helps retain heat. Consider adding insulation if your home does not have enough of it.

Look for available assistance for heating expenses

If you continue to struggle to deal with heating bills after employing these energy-saving tips, you could find out if you qualify for a government program that provides finance aid for this concern. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), for one, partners with local agencies to provide assistance with heating bills.

LIHEAP can also help households stay warm by preventing energy shutoffs, reconnecting services, making homes more energy-efficient, and repairing or replacing heating equipment.