7 Ways to Save on Heat this Winter
The cold weather is approaching and so are the HIGH energy and heating bills. Are you prepared? Have you done everything you can?
Trying to save money comes naturally to some people. Trying to save money on your heating bill is…well…unnatural and seems like you have no control… BUT YOU DO!
Nobody wants to really think about these things but unless you have more money than Midas, you had best fall in line. Natural resources are not getting any more plentiful or cheap to come by. Like anything else that is in low supply and high demand, heat is expensive.
So what are you going to do about it? Here are seven good places to start:
What if you could have an expert come in and check your home out for heating loss? What if they could not only tell you how to fix things and lower your heating bill, but they could sometimes even pay to have it done? Energy audits vary by state, but many states do this for you.
MassSave has a phenomenal Home Energy Assessment program as well as rebate programs. It is in their best interest to have homes that are energy and heat efficient. This means that you get home improvements (new windows, insulation and more), a lower energy or heat bill and professional advice. If you are not sure about your state, go HERE to find out what is offered in your area. Find more tips & tricks HERE.
2. Equal Payment Plans, Discounts & Assistance
Most utility companies offer LOCK-IN rates for the season – this can be helpful if you think the rates will continue to skyrocket, especially for oil. Some states also offer an equal payment plan for your heating and electric bill. This can be very beneficial towards awareness and can save you a ton of cash over time. When you pay the same amount each month, you can budget out for the entire year. This means more of your money can be earmarked for greater things. (Just make sure you account for that final payment that brings it all together at the end of the year).
Also check your state for eligibility for Fuel Assistance and Utility discounts.
3. Wood Stove or Fireplace
It was good enough for the old timers so it is good enough for me. Nothing beats the smell and feel of good old fashioned heat from a wood stove. If you don’t have the set up for a wood stove but have a fireplace, that will do just as well. It takes a bit more work but the heat is hot and free for most people. Burning a wood stove, pellet stove or fireplace will save you tons of cash.
4. Tap into FREE Wood
Free? But I have paid up to fifty bucks for a truck load of wood before! How is that free?
The truth is, Craigslist, churches, local classifieds, bulletin boards and countless other areas can get you free wood. Just on Craigslist alone you can find opportunities for free wood virtually any day of the week. You might have to pick it up or chop it yourself, but it is free and a way you can save money.
Today’s thermostats can actually make you a cup of Java and rub your aching feet when you get home from work. I kid but they are amazing. Have you checked out the NEST Learning Thermostat?
Thermostats control about half your energy bill so you really ought to pay attention to them. You can set up your thermostat to work only when you want it to. This automation can be used to cut quite a bit off your heating bill. Why heat your home when you are not there or in another part of the house?
6. Seal Up Those Cracks
This is one of the most common fixes that would be covered in the energy audit mentioned in step one. Go around your home and focus on the windows and doors in particular. Look for cracks, holes or openings that you can seal up with tape, foam expander or any number of other sealants. The first year in our home we quickly found out there were no dampers on the fireplaces – HEAT GOING FULL BLAST RIGHT UP THE CHIMNEY! Insulated drapes for the windows are also a big help.
This alone will cut your heating bill because heating the neighborhood is expensive.
7. Commit to the Change
None of the things mentioned above will do anything to save you money without a personal and family-wide commitment to change. Wear sweaters, sweat shirts and socks in the house and bundle up with blankets for bed. You have to all agree to close doors behind you, leave lights off, shut windows tight and pay attention to the thermostat. One person not doing these things can cost you all the savings you get from any of the other improvements.
Make the change and watch the bill drop!
Heat is expensive folks, so make sure you find the cheapest options possible. If you have a natural way of burning wood and getting heat, you can make a big difference by doing that alone. Many cannot, but there are still other changes you CAN make. Not only are you helping out your pocket, you are also helping out the world around you.
That is always a good thing.