I don’t want to brag or anything but I’ve got to tell you that our electric bill has been very low for the past four months or so. It had nothing to do with me though. Here in the Pacific NW we had a fairly cool summer, which for some people was a huge bummer — but not for me. I don’t like being too warm anyway and even if I did, I sure couldn’t balk at the fact that we only had to use our air conditioning for one or two weeks total!
We have also had a nice fall. Not too cool and not too terribly rainy, so I actually didn’t even turn our heater on for the first time until a few weeks ago! Again, our electric bills have been outstanding and instead of dreading the bill, I’m actually excited to see how low it is (I know that sounds a little weird but it’s true).
Ah, but those glorious days are quickly coming to an end as we enter the colder months. I am so sad to say goodbye to low electricity bills but do I really have to? Maybe not. I have been thinking about ways to cut our heating costs so if nothing else, they don’t get as high as they did last year!
I don’t know about you but on our bill, the power company provides a side by side comparison of the current month and how much energy we used in the same month the year before. My goal this year is to try to improve on last year’s electrical costs. It always seems like we do worse and worse each winter but no more! Having a goal (and making a game out of it) is very motivating for me. So yes — once again, I accept my own challenge!
4 Solutions to Help You Save on Heating Costs
Now – in no particular order – here are some simple ideas to cut your heating costs:
1. Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature
Listen, I am pretty much always cold but we keep our thermostat at a cool 68 degrees. If I’m too chilly I put on a sweater or something. It’s amazing just how much money you can save by knocking the temp down a few notches.
2. Have a thermostat with a timer
Before we had the boys we programmed our thermostat to drop the temp while we were sleeping. I’ve always been worried about the boys kicking off their blankets and being too cold so we just keep our thermostat the same temp all the time. Now there are two schools of thought on this issue: 1.) If you constantly have your temperature drop and go back up, your heater is working harder to and using more energy to get the temperature up to what it is during “normal” times. So keeping the temp the same at all times is best. 2.) Reducing the temp during times when you are sleeping or away from home saves a good amount of money because there is no reason for the house to be a perfect temperature when you aren’t awake or even at home. I don’t know which is right and if you do please offer your opinions or information in the comment box below 🙂
3. Make sure you have enough insulation
This can be in your attic, crawl spaces, walls and around hot water heater and pipes. If your hot water heater is inside your house it isn’t an issue but if your water heater is in the garage it is. Wrap insulation around your water heater and around the pipes so the water heater doesn’t have to work harder to keep the hot water hot. Another thing we learned when we had to replace our water heater is that you can get a foam disk that sits between the cold cement garage floor and your water heater which helps quite a bit as well.
4. Windows & Doors
For many people windows and doors are the main culprits of energy wasters. If you don’t have the money to replace windows and doors with energy efficient ones don’t worry, there are still some things you can to to help keep your heat in. Using thermal insulated curtains or liners on your windows can help cut heating costs. I also found a helpful how-to video from Home Depot about how to seal your windows and doors to prevent the cold air from leaking in. Purchasing a door and window draft blocker can be helpful in keeping your home warm and your heating costs low.
What are some ways you winterize your home to keep heating costs down?