Ways to Save on Your Heating Bills

Ways to Save on Your Heating Bills

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  1. Though not always easy or obvious, there are a number of simple ways to save money by weatherproofing your home. Most are inexpensive and easily achieved by even the least handy types. Others require the assistance of handymen or special services.

    One of the biggest challenges homeowners face is keeping the warmth their heater generates inside the house. Leaky windows and doors can allow cold air to enter the house, resulting in the furnace having to work harder and increased heating bills.

    One simple method is to cover particularly leaky windows with energy-efficient plastic coverings. These clear sheets are held in place by double stick tape and then a hair dryer is used to heat them, creating a seal against the wall. These are best used on windows that are hidden in the home as the look is not aesthetically pleasing. These kits are also very effective when used on large sliding glass doors, many of which are not used during the winter months anyway. If the plastic is not effective in stopping the leaks and helping warm the house, homeowners may need to consider new windows; an expensive option that over the long-term will pay off in reduced heating costs.

    Other leaks can be fixed with simple caulking of cracks and by applying weather stripping to leaky doors. Look for anyplace cold air is getting into the house and forcing the heater to work harder. Then find a way to plug the leak.

    Another easy way to save is by wrapping insulation around the hot water heater. There are special kits available at most hardware stores for this as well. Helping the unit to run more efficiently will have a big effect on bills throughout the year.

    Making sure the furnace is running at peak efficiency is another way to cut costs during the winter months. In addition to changing furnace filters regularly, having a professional clean out the heater and check over the mechanical parts each fall before the cold weather sets in is a good practice to follow. Old, worn or dirty parts can cause the furnace to burn more gas than would otherwise be necessary.

    Likewise, engaging with professionals to add extra insulation to a home can make a large difference in the cost of heating. Since heat rises, attics and crawl spaces should be heavily insulated to stop costly warmth from leaking out of the top of the house. Garages and other additions should also be insulated despite not being places where people generally reside. Making these areas more weatherproof adds an additional buffer between cold weather and the house.

    A more extensive process known as blown-in insulation can help fortify outside walls from the cold. In this procedure, small holes are poked in the outside of the wall and insulation is injected between the inner and outer walls of the house. After the process the holes are plugged from the outside leaving the house more completely insulated from the elements.

    Simply employing any of these suggestions should help homeowners bring out of control heating costs back down to earth.

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