Cool Ideas

Reduce Your Home Heating Costss

Heating your home can deal a blow to your bank account. In fact, some statistics show you may be paying twice as much to heat your place as you did just a few years ago. If you want to save as much on your heating bill as possible, simply follow these tips.

Limit use of the bathroom fan
Did you know a bathroom ventilation fan can suck the heated air out of your average house in just over an hour?

Destroy the dirt
Dirty filters reduce your furnace's efficiency. Inspect your system during the cold months and keep the parts clean. Replace air filters when needed-clean filters can save up to $60 a year!

Don't heat rooms you don't use daily
If you have guest rooms or other areas you don't use everyday, close heating vents, close the doors, and/or turn back thermostats in those rooms.

Go solar
To let in the sun's heat, open your draperies and shades in cold months and keep them closed when the sun goes away. Also, keep shady trees from blocking the sun from your house by pruning any branches that block the sunlight.

Take snappier showers
You can save up to 33% on your water heating bill if you cut your shower time by half!

Trap the drafts
Spot areas in your house where heated air leaks out-such as windows, doors and fireplaces-and close them up with weather stripping, door sweeps, caulk, plastic, etc.

Give laundry the cold shoulder
If it's possible, make it a point to wash your laundry in cold water.

Don't be so extreme
It makes sense to turn the heat back when you're not at home, but turning it down too low can actually cost you more, because the house has to be re-heated. And turning your thermostat up above the desired temperature just makes your furnace work harder. Stick with the 68-70 degree range while you're home and awake, and the 60-65 degree range while you're asleep or away.

Leave it to the machine
Install a programmable thermostat for consistency. When properly used, this can save you up to $150!

Remember-it's about location
Since temperature variations near the thermostat will affect the whole house, make sure your thermostat is located in a central area that is not too cold or hot.

Wrap your heater
To prevent heat loss, if your water heater's in an unheated space like an unfinished basement, wrap it in an insulation blanket available at hardware stores.