Free And Low-Cost Fixes To End High Heating Costs

With winter finally coming to an end, many homeowners are working to pay down the heating bill for the year. If you've been facing extremely high heating bills this year, there are some things that you can do that will cost very little or even be free for you to do. Here, you'll learn what those things are.

Free Fixes

Close off the vents in the rooms that aren't used often. There's no need to fully heat the areas of the home that aren't used. Yes, you want to keep them above freezing, but they don't need to be kept at a balmy 80 degrees all winter.

Adjust the thermostat each night and when you're not home. If you get cold at night, add an extra blanket to the bed.

Keep the vents clear. Don't put anything over the vents that will prevent the warm air from circulating through the space. If you have a heavy couch sitting on top of, or in front of a vent, the couch will soak up the heat, and your room will remain chilly. Don't forget – the cold air return vents also need to be kept clear for optimal air circulation throughout the home.

Open the drapes when the sun is out. Let the sun heat up the home when you can. Close the drapes at night to prevent any cool air from coming into the room through leaks around the windows.

If you have a fireplace, make sure that the damper is closed. Believe it or not, when you use your fireplace while using the furnace to heat your home, the fireplace can actually pull the air being produced by the furnace and release it through the chimney. The furnace works twice as hard, and you only get half the heat.

Cheap Fixes

First, have your furnace inspected and tuned up at the beginning of each winter. This will not only ensure that the furnace is running efficiently but also help to protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the loss of energy due to malfunctions.

Check for ductwork leaks. To do this, create a mixture of 50% water and 50% dish soap. Brush the mixture on each seam in the ductwork. Turn the furnace fan on and watch for bubbles to form. If bubbles form, air is leaking from that seam, and it will need to be coated with ductwork calking. Weatherstrip and caulk all of the windows and doors to stop heat loss.

Invest in a programmable thermostat. You can set the thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in the home when you're not home when you're sleeping and turn the heat back up just before you are supposed to be home and right before you get up in the morning.

Talk with your local heating and cooling expert to learn more about lowering the heating costs next winter. For more information, check out a website like