Q: I’ve sealed all leaky windows and doors in my home, but my heating bill is still astronomical. Is there anything else I can do to keep my heating costs down?
A: Sealing air leaks is a great first step toward lowering your heating bill. Luckily, there are many other methods for hacking your way to a lower heating bill.
Here are some creative ways to save on heating costs.
Dust your vents
This can be an easy, effective way for lowering your heating bills. Dust acts as a natural insulator and can block some of the hot air from heating your home.
Lower your thermostat
The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter for maximum energy savings. For every degree you crank it down over an 8-hour period throughout the month, you can shave 1 percent off your heating bill. If you can lower your thermostat by 10 degrees at night or while you’re at work, you’ll save 10 percent off your heating bill! A programmable thermostat can do the job for you so you don’t have to remember to turn it down.
Turn on your ceiling fans
Most ceiling fans are equipped with a “summer” and “winter” setting. In the wintertime, set the blades to move in a clockwise direction so hot air, which naturally rises toward the ceiling, can be blown downward to warm up the room.
Use aluminum foil
Tape a piece of aluminum foil behind the radiator to reflect heat into the room instead of into the wall.
Use zone heating
If you live in a large home, keep the lesser-used areas just warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing. Close some of the vents in these rooms and shut the door to keep that heat in. On the flip side, open the doors of the rooms that see heavy use so hot air can flow evenly throughout the house.
Rearrange your furniture
Check if you have any furniture situated near your heating vents. You don’t want to be paying all that money just for hot air to be flowing into the underside of your living room sofa.
Let the sunshine in
The low-in-the-sky winter sun can give you hours of free solar heat each day — if you let it in. Be sure to open the curtains in the early morning hours and to close them at night to keep that warm air inside. You may also want to swap your curtains for thicker, insulated ones in the winter for further protection against the cold night air.
Humidify your air
Use humidity to your advantage by investing in a humidifier for the winter. Moisture helps to hold onto heat and will keep the air warmer longer.