The weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t mean your heating bills need to be, too. It’s common for most people to experience an increase in their heating bills come winter, but what is surprising is that you’re probably overpaying. There are many ways to keep your utility bills in check during the most wonderful time of the year, and these allow you to have a little left over for Santa’s cookies, gift upgrades or the festivities come December 31st.
Check out these easy ways to lower your heating bills and stop stressing every time you hear the heat kick on. You can even consider it an early start to your New Year’s resolutions. What better way to start 2015 than with more money, less energy consumption and a cozier, comfier home?
1. Get your furnace or boiler maintained
Did you miss the memo that autumn is the best time for a boiler, furnace or heating system maintenance check? Don’t worry, it’s not too late. Regular maintenance checks, cleanings and tune-ups are the best way to make sure your heating system is operating at 100 percent. Just a single minor kink can lead to excessive energy consumption and higher bills—the cost of that check-up can pay for itself before Valentine’s Day rolls around.
2. Upgrade that weatherstripping
Are you paying to attempt to heat the backyard? Weatherstripping in doors and windows wears out, or maybe you didn’t get the best quality the first time around. This is a very affordable DIY weekend project that’s a must. Remember, the best heating system in the world is going to be powerless against poor weatherstripping.
3. Fix electrical box drafts
One of the most notorious warm weather “sucks” in your home surrounds your electrical boxes. They’re drafty and are hungry for that warm air you’re enjoying indoors. A simple solution is simply to remove the plates and fill the area with acrylic latex caulk. It’s a simple enough job that anyone can do it and it can save you a pretty penny, too.
4. DIY plastic film on windows
You have two options: Upgrade your windows entirely (which is costly!) or cover them with a plastic film. Windows can be the culprit for 25 percent of home heat loss, and that has to stop. Pick up some transparent window film at your local home improvement store for just a few dollars and then seal it onto the window with a blow dryer. It’s easy to remove, safe and very effective.
Most Americans are overpaying for heating during the winter months, but it’s optional. Embrace just a little bit of your inner Scrooge and pinch a few pennies this winter.