It’s easy to save money on home heating costs with these tips for lowering your winter heat bills! Here, financial expert Ethan Ewing of Bills.com describes how to achieve your financial goals…and maybe even save enough money for a tropical beach vacation!
Before his tips, a money tip from a financial expert:
“Every family should have an emergency savings account that covers at least eight months of living expenses,” says Suze Orman.
Yikes…maybe we all should have eight months of living expenses in an emergency savings account…but do we? I know I don’t! What better time to start saving money than now, in the winter, when the heating costs are so high? One way to start saving money on heat bills is to install a Smart Temp Programmable Thermostat (which we did last winter).
And, here are seven ways to lower your winter heating bills…
Save Money on Home Heating – 7 Ways to Lower Your Winter Heat Costs
1. Protect your home heating system to save money. Change furnace filters regularly to keep your air clean and ensure maximum air flow. If your home, apartment or condo has an individual furnace or boiler, have it inspected by a professional. A furnace that works properly will be more efficient and less likely to fail, which will help keep your winter heating bills low. “To save money on home heating, ask the service person for tips on ways you can maintain your system yourself,” Ewing suggests.
2. Take a tax credit as a homeowner. This year, homeowners who added certain efficiency measures to their homes can take a tax credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of the materials used, up to $500 per home. Learn more at Energy Tax Incentives.
3. Program the temperature in your home to save money. Make your furnace settings automatic by installing a programmable thermostat; this way, you won’t forget to turn down the heat at night or when you leave the house for the day. Programmable thermostats cost about $40, are easy to install, and will lower your winter heat costs.
4. Save money by lowering hot water energy. Turn the temperature on the hot water heater to 120 degrees – or, if yours is equipped only with a scale, turn it down a notch. You can save up to 10% of water heating costs, and still maintain plenty of hot water. If the hot water heater is in a cool area, consider adding an insulating jacket to help maintain water temperature and reduce heating time. Insulate the first few feet of pipe that transport hot water from the water heater. If you need to replace a water heater, consider a tankless or “on-demand” unit. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates these appliances are 8-34% more efficient than conventional hot water tanks.
5. Insulate your home to save money on heat bills. To lower your winter heat costs, inspect your home for drafty spots where cold air can enter. The most common culprits are doors and windows. Install weather stripping and door sweeps to block drafts. Add old-fashioned “draft dodgers” for a quick fix at exterior doors. Other common areas for air leaks are locks, outlets, air conditioning units and recessed light fixtures. Cover outside vents, including air conditioning units. Install insulated electrical outlet boxes and light fixtures.
6. Shop around for fuel oil prices. Those who purchase fuel oil have a choice of energy providers. To lower winter heating bills, compare prices to get the lowest rates. Achieving your financial goals involves shopping around for the best prices and saving money wherever you can.
7. Turn down the heat and save money with an electric blanket. If your health permits, lower the thermostat to 68 degrees (or even lower). For every one degree the thermostat is lowered, winter heating costs decrease by up to 5 percent. At night, or when your home is empty, lower the temperature as far as possible. To lower your winter heating bills even more, stay cozy with an electric heated warming heating blanket.
For more money saving tips, read 8 Money Laws to Boost Your Bank Account’s Bottom Line.
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