Heat Wave: Saving Money on Warming Your Home

It’s cold, cloudy, and downright dreary outside your windows. On the horizon, the sky is the color of snow. You shiver. Not because of the cold outside. Rather, it’s due to how cold it is inside your home. You need some heat!

No matter how many sweaters you put on or comforters you get under, there seems to be a prevailing chill in the house. Sure, you have a working heater, but running it at the temperature you desire will rack up the dollars on your next heating bill. Thus, you keep it well below what you need, making you and your young family cold and a tad miserable.

There’re ways to make sure you’re toasty during the cold winter days, and they’ll cost you little or no money at all. Here are a few of them.

1. Raise the temperature. Really, keeping the heater at 59 degrees is not going help keep the house warm when it’s below zero outside. Turn the heat up to around 65 degrees or a few notches north of it. The house will stay warm and you won’t be dishing out a lot of extra money. Besides, any hotter and the house will probably feel like a sauna.

2. Replace the air filter. It doesn’t get dirty as quickly as it does during the summer season when pollen and other items attached to it, but your air filter still gets filthy when the heat is on. This is especially true when the vents of your home aren’t clean. Take a look to see if your air vent is dirty and replace it. Prices on these filters vary on the type of heater used, but they normally run anywhere from $10 to $20.

3. Check entry thresholds. The biggest suck of heat is due to drafts coming from entryways in your home. From the door to the garage to the one to your backyard deck, wind and general cold can seep into the house. The easiest way to correct this is to raise or lower the wooden thresholds to close any gaps. All you need for this is a screwdriver and a way to measure if the gap is closed. Should you not have adjustable thresholds, consider laying towels or blankets along the entryways to block any drafts.

4. Insulate. Check the doors and windows in your home to determine if you feel any drafts coming from them. If this is the case, purchase caulk, rubber molding, or plastic insulation to close any drafts. The other place to insulate? Inside your electrical outlets. A good deal of heat disappears around these areas. Unscrew the covers from these outlets and spray foam insulation in the open areas, just enough so it expands without making it difficult to replace the cover. You’ll be shocked at the money you save should you do this throughout the house.

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