By Greg Quincy
With energy costs higher than they have ever been in recent
history, it pays to find ways to reduce your home heating
costs. I put together some tips that are easy, cost effective
and will all add up to reduce your home heating bills by a
significant amount! You donít need to be Bob Villa either.
take just a minute or two. Even small changes will add up to
savings over the course of this cold winter!
Here are the 10 tips that I have personally used to save on my
home heating costs:
1. Head down to the basement and reduce the setting on your
water thermostat by about 10 degrees. I wouldnít go below
120-115 degrees. The adjustment dial is typically a red knob
towards the bottom of the water tank.
2. While you are downstairs, make sure you have clean filters
for your central air-heating unit. A dirty and clogged filter
will force your unit to work much harder and stay on longer as
it struggles to fresh air through the clogged filter to heat
the rest of your house.
3. Check your air ducts for gaps, leaks or disconnects. If you
have any disconnects or leaks in your ductwork, your heating
bills could be 25% higher than they need to be if these gaps
were sealed. If you canít do this on your own, hire a
professional. This expert can also clean your ducts for added
4. Adjust your thermostat a few degrees lower. Believe me,
really adds up. It may not seem like much of a difference to
you, but you will notice the difference when you get a lower
bill each month!
5. While we are on the subject of thermostats, consider
replacing yours if it is not programmable. The reason is, you
can set the thermostat so the temperature setting in your
is lower at night than during the day, when you are awake.
if you are away at work during the day, you can set it for a
lower temperature and have it programmed to start heating the
house a little bit before you come home. These arenít too
expensive and are easy to install and configure yourself.
6. Insulate your attic. Heat rises, right? If your attic isnít
properly insulated, all of the heat in your house (and your
money) goes right through the roof. Literally! This does
require some effort on your part, but following through on
tip will save you a ton of money over the years. Measure the
square footage of your attic and buy rolls of insulation,
greater than R-13 but no higher than R-30. Wear a mask and
gloves when working with insulation because it irritates the
7. Find those leaks and cracks! If you were to add up all of
the small cracks and holes in your house, they would probably
add up to a small window, wide open, letting cold air in and
hot air out. Take the time to find gaps in windows, doors,
pipes, electrical and phone lines, your dryer duct and much
more. Put weather-strips around your doors and windows. You
buy insulation foam that comes in a can with a straw at the
that allows you to fill in tight spaces. It expands to fill
even the smallest cracks. Of all of the tasks, this was the
most fun finding and filling these gaps all around the house.
8. Close the vents in rooms that you do not use. I have one
room in my house that is not currently in use. I shut the hot
air ducts and made sure the windows and doors were properly
sealed to limit energy leakage. Why waste your money heating
extra square footage of your house that you donít even use?
9. Open drapes and shades for all of your windows during the
day to let the sun heat your home. In the evening, pull them
back down for added insulation. It is amazing how much direct
sunlight streaming into your home helps to heat things up.
10. Your fireplace can help and hurt your heating costs. If
are not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed.
When it is closed, inspect the damper and feel if cold air is
still leaking in. If you are using your fireplace, make sure
the heating in the rest of your house is reduced or turned
Taking the time to implement these tips will drastically
your home heating bills. You can get most of them done in just
one day, but the payoff will last for as long as you live
there! I followed through on each one of these tips and the
following winter, my bills were about 25% lower, saving about
$100 a month! So roll up your sleeves follow these tips and
start saving money on your heating costs!
About The Author: Greg Quincy is the publisher of the website
www.financialtipsforyou.com, offering his money saving
tips and other personal finance advice that he has gained from
working in the financial industry and the economic challenges
of raising a family. Copyright © 2005