This article was last edited on Nov. 30, 2015. For updated information on energy efficiency, visit this post.
With cold winter weather on the way, home heating costs are about to have a big impact on your energy bills. Between 2007 and 2012, the average household spent more than $700 on heating using natural gas and $1,700 using heating oil, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
There are numerous energy saving tips that can help curb the costs of winter heating. Before the low temperatures arrive, take some time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. TaxSlayer recommends five common ways to cut your heating bills:
- Improve the efficiency of your home. Look for gaps around windows, door frames or anywhere heat could escape or cold air could creep inside. Consider upgrading your window panes and insulation in the walls and attic.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Set the timer to lower the temperature when you are at work or asleep. A programmable thermostat can save about 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs, according to the Energy Department.
- Perform routine maintenance on your heating system. Clean filters monthly, check air ducts and heating pipes to make sure they are properly sealed and remove dirt or soot from the system.
- Open your curtains during the day to naturally heat your home with the sun. Close them at night to keep heat inside.
- Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise to blow the rising hot air down.
Did you know you should set your thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter? For every degree you lower the heat setting, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
Grab a sweater and blanket, and enjoy the change in seasons!