How to Reduce Heating Costs in the Winter
It’s a brand new year! What’s your resolution for 2023? While aiming for personal growth is a great way to start the year (e.g. practicing mindfulness, a better sleep routine, a healthier diet, etc.), reducing expenses is a wise idea to add to your list. North America is currently entering a recession, so cutting costs could help get you through the year financially. In this post, we outline budget-friendly tips on how to reduce heating costs this winter, without leaving you shivering.
Replace Your Furnace Filters Regularly
Furnace filters that are clogged with dirt and dust make your unit work harder which raises energy costs. To prevent this, replace your furnace filter every 90 days—or less, depending on if you have pets, smoke in your home, or work at home with chemicals (crafting, painting, etc.). Not only will you save on your heating bill, but it will also keep your air clean and help your HVAC system last longer.
Turn Down Your Thermostat
Turning down your thermostat will help you save on energy costs. Surprised? Here’s a simple explanation:
In winter, the lower the indoor temperature, the slower the heat loss. That means you will save more energy so long as your home remains at a lower temperature. The basic rule of thumb is to turn the thermostat to 68°F (20°C) while you’re at home and drop it even lower before leaving for the day. This can be done automatically by installing a programmable thermostat such as Napoleon’s NT95. It’s a two-stage thermostat capable of programming seven different days of comfort settings. It also automatically switches to cooling or heating to ensure maximum comfort and convenience.
Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Hot air rises while cold air sinks because it is denser. That means the warm air generated by your heating system naturally rises to the ceiling. To push it back down to floor level, run your ceiling fan in reverse (the blades must spin clockwise) at a slow speed. The reverse rotation will force the warm air back down and distribute it around your home. The gentle fan speed will prevent unpleasant drafts.
Cook at Home
Cooking or baking at home has several advantages. One, it will help save on restaurant bills. Two, home-cooked meals are healthier because you control the ingredients that go into your dish. Three, it’s comforting to eat warm soups, stews, and roasts at home. Lastly, it will help lower your heating bill because the heat from the oven or stove will also warm up your kitchen. Make sure to leave the door of your oven slightly open after baking to let the warm air escape and help heat up your home!
Close Your Fireplace Damper
Your home might be warm and cozy, but if you don’t keep your damper closed when you’re not using your fireplace, all that snuggly warm air will quickly escape up the chimney. An open damper is like an open window so keep it closed if there’s no fire burning!
Are you using an open wood-burning fireplace? Open wood fireplaces can cause a net energy loss in your home as more heat escapes up the chimney than what’s added to it. Either replace your fireplace or convert it with a glass-door insert to make it more energy efficient!
Make Sure Your Windows and Doors are Tightly Closed
Another tip on how to reduce heating costs (which people often forget) is to weatherproof your doors and windows. It might sound simple but it could help reduce your heating costs. Make sure to replace or fix any peeling weatherstripping and ill-fitting doors and windows. This way, no cold air could get in through the gaps and indoor heat won’t be able to escape. Don’t forget to lock your windows too. Not only will it create a better seal, it will also make your home more secure.
Utilize the Sun's Heat
You may not see much of the sun in the winter, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. Open the curtains during the day to let the sun’s rays warm up your home. Don’t forget to close them down before nightfall to trap the heat in. You can also prune any shrubs or foliage near windows with good sun exposure so they can receive full sunlight.
Wrap Vent Ducts
Check your vent ducts, especially in your garage, basement, and attic. Are there any uninsulated areas? Ducts without insulation are a source of heat loss so make sure to seal them, especially around the joints. You can use foil tape or mastic sealant to seal vent ducts.
Rearrange Your Furniture
What does furniture have to do with reducing heating costs? There’s a lot more to it than aesthetic benefits. Couches, beds, bookcases, and other furniture that block heating vents make your furnace work harder to deliver warm air. This increases running time and energy costs. Move your furniture a few feet away from vents so heat can travel freely. It will also help improve airflow in your home and distribute heat more efficiently.
Replace an Old HVAC System
What’s the most cost-effective way of reducing heating costs? If you have an old heating system, replacement is your best option. The older your unit is, the less efficient it’s going to be. The initial investment may cost a bit more, but it’s more economical in the long run. High-efficient HVAC units deliver heat using less energy compared to conventional systems. That means you’ll be saving money on lower energy bills over time. Depending on your location, you may also be qualified to receive as much as a $5,000 rebate when you upgrade to an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Reduce Your Monthly Energy Bill with a Napoleon HVAC System
Your old HVAC system may have the ability to keep your home comfortable this winter, however, you probably won’t like the spike in energy usage and the high bill that comes with it.
By upgrading your HVAC system to a high-efficient one and following the above tips on how to reduce heating costs, you’ll be able to stay warm this winter and save money at the same time—even during the economic recession! Find a dealer near you today to know what options are available for you.