If last winter is any indication, this winter will be cold. I can already imagine the heating bills coming in just a few weeks after the holiday bills.
Here are some great ways to keep your heating bills manageable.
- Check around your windows or doors for gaps. Likewise, check around exterior faucets, dryer vents, exterior electrical outlets and light fixtures, holes for phones, cable wires, and air conditioning lines. , close them up with a bead of caulk – you can buy clear caulk or paintable latex caulk. Larger gaps can be filled with expanding spray foam. Cost – about $5.00.
- Dryer, range hood, and bath fan vents will have louvered covers on the outside of the house. These louvers should open when the vent is in use and should close smoothly and completely when the vent is not in use. You can adjust the spring tension to hold them more tightly closed. Cost – Free! You can add weather stripping tape around the vent. Cost – $10.00. For really worn out vents, you can replace the entire vent cap. Cost $40.00 and up.
- Fireplace dampers should be kept closed except when the fireplace is being used or else your heat will go right up your chimney.
- Most fireplaces are horribly inefficient, converting only about 15% of the wood’s energy to useful heat. Fireplace inserts are sealed metal boxes that fit inside your existing fireplace and are designed to circulate room air around the firebox and extract as much heat as possible. Cost – about $200-$500.
- Doors to attics, crawl spaces, and other interior unheated spaces need to be weather stripped and insulated. Cost – $40.00 per door.
- Installing a programmable thermostat can help you manage your heating and cooling more efficiently. Cost $70-$200.
I’d love to hear what your plans are to lower your bills this winter!