29 Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill – Now!
(Updated 2020)

The single thing that most of us hate about winter is not the cold, snow, frost, ice, or the foggy drives home from work in bumper to bumper traffic. No, it's the sound of the power bill gently dropping into the post box that brings chills to us all. Here we have 29 ways to save money on your heating bills.

The delight of coming home to a warm, comfortable house is almost beyond price, but not entirely. We need to keep those costs under control, and THEN we'll all be happy warm bunnies!

Where Does Your Money Go?

Annual energy costs for residential homesAnnual energy costs

According to hydroone.com, over 60% of one family household yearly energy costs goes on home heating and close to 20% to water heating. Home appliances use approximately 10% of the energy, and 5% of energy is used on air conditioning and lighting.

60% of your budget for heating your home is a considerable amount of money, so I'm sure finding ways to save money will be at the top of your to-do list.

Congratulations if you've installed a heat pump and condensing water heater and are enjoying the efficiency and savings they bring; however, we can still save money on our power bills, even with a heat pump or ultra-efficient heater but, and there's always a but isn't there?

We need to get off ours and do some work. Sorry, it won't happen on its own.

Let's get started.

We will look at 29 areas:

  • Your thermostat, 
  • 23 Ways to save money that cost nothing,
  • 5 Bigger budget items to consider.

Thermostats

Thermostat for HVACImage by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

These tiny pieces of kit are so important and often abused or overlooked.

The central thermostat in your house is a critical part of controlling your home environment; however, it also plays a significant role in your mission to control your home energy costs. You should treat it with great respect!

If it's old, consider upgrading it to a programmable unit. So, for example, if you want to boost the heating before you get home on an icy evening, it's simple – just a few taps on an app.

A quality thermostat, properly fitted, will save you money on your energy bills. It's like Mission Control, and you're in charge. You can save 10-20% of your annual power bill by turning the temperature down just a few degrees, and you won't feel it. Turning the temperature down by even 1 C (33 F) will save money.

You have control, use it!

If you lower the temperature in winter by 3 C (35.6 F) at night and when you leave the house during the day, even for a few hours.

"The Department of Energy estimates savings of about 1 percent for each degree of thermostat adjustment per 8 hours…" [source].

Don't adjust your thermostat excessively; a suggestion is to have only one person do it because fiddling with it can cost you money. For example, the kids turn it up because they feel cold, then they go out, forgetting to turn it back down again.

If your central thermostat is crucial, the one attached to your hot water system is even more important, yet often ignored. Heating water for your home accounts for 18% of your power consumption. However, water heaters are usually set to 60 C (140 F). Your water should never be so hot it scalds, especially important when you have children or elderly adults in the house. You can safely turn it down to 49 C (120 F), and it will save you money each year. This is a factory set temperature, so no need to change it drastically.

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23 Easy Ways to Save You Money Heating Your Home for Almost No Effort or Cost

Here are 23 easy things you can do to save cash on your power bill when you have an hour free. Just start in the Fall when you feel the first nip in the air and get off your proverbial and do some work. It will be worth the effort, I guarantee it.

Create a checklist; don't expect to do it all in one day (unless you're a Superhero!), but with a checklist, you won't forget anything, and it's very satisfying to check things done, off the list, don't you agree?

Let's get started:

  1. Lower the temperature in any unused rooms to around 15 C (59 F) and keep the doors closed. Don't heat anywhere you don't use.
  2. Your house leaks hot air! It's a fact. Seal the leaks in your home.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation and keep the vents clean.
  4. Seal heating ducts. Most ducts develop small leaks over time that let heated air escape. Use metallic tape (costs about $10). Avoid duct tape it breaks down.
  5. Seal your fireplace and flue. If it's decorative and not in use, block it up.
  6. Insulate your ducts in areas where they travel through unheated parts of the house, like attics. 
  7. Listen for noises coming from your heating system. It could be a sign of trouble. A happy system purrs like a contented cat. 
  8. Have your system checked annually. Invest in a tune-up. Buy a maintenance contract it will save you money on the long term. Use a space heater to supplement heat in specific areas.
  9. Change air filters. When they're clean, there will be a better flow of air through your heating system.
  10. Clean your heat pump filters regularly. It only takes a few minutes and helps your system perform more efficiently.
  11. Cover hard floors with rugs, it feels warmer and acts as insulation.
  12. Set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise, it drives warm air down.
  13. Wear warm clothing. Be comfortable and warm without turning the heating up. No one will see you, so what does it matter?
  14. Move furniture that's usually at a window in summer, away from it in winter.
  15. Keep vents and radiators clear and unobstructed by furniture or carpets.
  16. The heat from your oven can warm your kitchen. Don't waste all that heat.
  17. Manage your electronic toys and accessories - Most homes have several computers, smartphones, tablets, games consoles, and chargers, all of which consume electricity even when charging is complete. Its all small stuff, but it adds up over a year.
  18. Install door sweeps. The drought bar at the bottom of a door works at keeping droughts out and as a seal to keep expensive warm air inside. They are cheap and easy to fit. 
  19. Turn off exhaust fans, for example, in the bathroom when they're not needed. They suck all your expensive warm air right out of the house.
  20. Let the sun's warmth inside, even in winter, the sun has heat. Open your curtains wide. But make sure you close them up tight when the sun goes down.
  21. Wash your clothes in cold water; the savings are significant. 
  22. If you're going to spend a few hours near a blazing fireplace, turn the thermostat down to save energy.
  23. Use outdoor energy in the summer. Use the BBQ, and let the wind dry your clothes.

Have you done all that? Well done, you! 

You have undoubtedly saved money on your home heating costs. Now you can rest more relaxed for the winter, and those bills should be less of a pain, that's for sure.

Lastly, there are four big-ticket items that will potentially save you the most money in the long term. They need careful thought and budgeting for in advance. Research the costs and the savings you can achieve, and how long it will take to recover your outlay.

There are many grants, rebates and financial incentives you can access, check with your local or state organizations for details of what they have on offer. With some research, you can find them, and for the sake of a little time and effort, you can win. 

It really is worthwhile.

24. Upgrading your heating system

A furnace over 15 years old will not be as efficient as a modern system, and you could achieve significant power cost savings by installing a new unit. The best option today is a heat pump. They are super-efficient and provide both heating and cooling, giving you year-round comfort, and won't break the bank. Remember, there are grants, rebates, and financial incentives you can access. Air to air heat pumps deliver efficient heating and cooling, no matter where you live.

25. Insulate your home.

 If you have an attic space that is insulated but a long time ago, then it's worth checking to see if it is still up to standard. You can save money by upgrading to the latest specifications. It is usually a DIY project. There are often grants available for this upgrade.

26. Install motion sensors on your outdoor lighting.

 Don't have them running all the time. Systems typically cost very little and are easy to install. They will save you money.

27. Consider fitting double-paned glass.

 Your windows typically account for around 15% of your home's wall area, so they have a significant effect on your power costs. New windows could make sense.

28. Basement Insulation.

Many of us have a basement, which is often overlooked for insulation. It will get very cold in winter, and if it's unheated or uninsulated, you have a freezer under your house. It may be a project you should consider, and if you have the skills, do the work yourself, but it's a project that could pay dividends in the future.

There you go! Lots of food for thought.

Conclusion

You can see there's a ton of easy ways to save money on your power bills. Many of them require no cash outlay whatsoever, just a bit of effort on your part!

I suggest you make that check sheet as soon as you can and get started, you won't regret it one bit.

› 29 ways to save money on heating

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