Holiday cheer is here—and so is the winter chill. If you’re looking for ways to save on your heating bill, there are plenty of adjustments you can make that will keep a few extra bucks in your pocket. Kevin Imes, CEO of Allure Energy, is here to give us some of his tips for cutting costs on your winter heating bills.
- Get smart. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly because it provides you with immediate efficiency that can’t be duplicated by a traditional thermometer. Look for smart thermostats that have proximity control technology, which adjusts the thermostat’s settings based on your daily activities. When you’re away from your home, the thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature, so you save money and energy while you’re away.
- Check your pool. Pumps and heaters for a swimming pool require a considerable amount of energy. Just imagine heating up several thousand gallons of water when the outside air temperature is colder. Use a pool solar cover to reduce heat loss, and only heat the pool when it will actually be used. If you likely won’t use the pool in the winter, then winterize it or drain it to avoid any costs at all. If pool usage is mainly a weekend activity, then you might want to heat it on Friday night, but keep the heater off during the week.
- Clean the filters. Machines work better when they aren’t interrupted by dust or lint. Clean your central heat system filters and your clothes dryer lint screens for maximum efficiency and reduced electricity usage. A dirty dryer screen can cause the appliance to cost 30% more to operate. Winter clothes such as sweaters and fuzzy blankets can clog the screen quickly. A new heating filter helps protect the unit’s motor and makes it run more efficiently, so it can bring your home up to the right temperature more quickly.
- Set the right temperatures. Simply adjusting your heating temperature thresholds is an immediate way to save. Set your heat temperature from about 66 degrees to 68 degrees when you’re home, and a lower temperature at night or when you’re away. The key to efficiency is to avoid using electricity when you’re away and to take advantage of warmer days by letting in sunlight to naturally heat your home.
- Find the leaks. When it’s 20 degrees outside, you want to be sure cold air isn’t creeping into your home. Check all of your window and door seals to find cracks and gaps. If you have a lot of cool breezes in your home, consider hiring a professional to do a home audit so you can find and fix all of the ways cold air is getting in. Gaps around outlets, baseboards, vents and fans, and pipe entrances can all be conduits for cold air.
For more on this topic, see Ask Your Advocate: Winter Heating Woes.