Cents and Sensibility

How to Save on Your Heating Bill

Our resident financial blogger shares tips for saving money on your heating bill.
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With the rising cost of heating oil and natural gas, many of us are opening the mail to find higher heating bills. After you review the following tips to lower your heating cost, take a look at your utility bill and call your utility company for free energy audits.

1. Turn down your thermostat. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, turning down your thermostat 10 degrees for 16 hours a day can save you about 14 percent on your heating bill. If you are able to put your thermostat on a timer, turn down your thermostat while you are at work, and again before bed. If you stay at home during the day, however, just set the thermostat back. You can save about 3 percent on your bill for every degree that you set back.

2. Keep the heating vents cleaned and change your filters. A furnace filter traps dust, pollen and other airborne particles before they can be recirculated into your home. To keep your furnace performing at maximum efficiency, you change your filters at least once a month during the winter months. Your bill can be reduced each month by doing so and you can start saving immediately.

3. Put up heavy curtains or window treatments and close vents. Heavy curtains can provide insulation and protect the home from heavy winds seeping through the window cracks. Dark-colored curtains are good to use in the winter months because they absorb the sunshine and helps keep the room warm. Close vents in rooms that are not being used regularly.

5. Dress warmer! It doesn’t cost you anything to dress warmer in your home. Cover your entire body while lounging around. Put on sweatpants and a sweatshirt with thick socks that you received in your Christmas stocking. Use comfortable throws and blankets while watching TV. Place small area rugs on hardwood and tile floors to eliminate the shock of the freezing cold surfaces.

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Karen Ratliff

Credit: Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff and her website at