From adjusting the thermostat to servicing your HVAC system, here are some easy ways to save money this season.
Winter is coming, and like it or not, you’re probably going to have to pay to heat the house. Depending on the climate where you live and the square footage of your house, keeping warm can get very expensive, very quickly.
Fortunately, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you spend a whole lot less on your heating bills this winter. So sit back, snuggle up and get ready to save.
Have Your Heating System Professionally Serviced
If you didn’t replace the filter in your furnace at the end of last winter, you’ll want to do that now. You’ll also want to bring in a professional to inspect your HVAC system to ensure it’s working efficiently. A properly working furnace costs a lot less to operate than one that’s struggling to heat your home.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
If your current heating system is on the older side, you may want to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient version. According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to install a new furnace is $4,300. Your energy savings will vary based on how much more efficiently your new system is compared to your old one.
Switching to a geothermal heating or cooling system will most likely lower your monthly utility bills, but installation is expensive. According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average homeowner spends between $3,400 and $12,500 to install geothermal heating or cooling system.
Install a Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan can help cool you down in the summer, but it’s also great for distributing heat in the winter. Just set the fan to spin clockwise at a low speed, and the blades will move warm air from near the ceiling down into the occupied space below.
According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to install a ceiling fan is $245.
Upgrade Your Insulation
Warm interior air will rise and escape through the top of a home that’s not well insulated. When this happens, keeping the house at a comfortable temperature can be expensive and difficult to do.
Because of this, the attic is a good place to start upgrading your home’s insulation. Blown-in insulation is one of the most common ways to winter-proof the attic, crawl space or walls of a home, and its cost is relatively low compared to what it will save you in heating and cooling costs.
According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to insulate 1,000-square-feet of attic space is in the range of $600 to $1,200. According to Energy.gov, adding insulation to your home is a sound investment that will quickly pay for itself in reduced utility bills.
Upgrade Your Windows
If you have old, single-paned or misaligned windows, replacing them with properly fitting, energy-efficient panes can save you an average of 25 percent on your energy bills.
Adding storm windows can also increase your existing windows’ energy efficiency. Low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows have a thin metal coating that reflects infrared heat, which helps to lower heating and cooling expenses by as much as 12 to 33 percent.
According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average homeowner paid $5,955 to install storm windows.
Install a Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat saves homeowners an estimated 10 percent a year, according to Energy.gov. You can save even more on heating and cooling bills simply by during your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day.
According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to install a programmable thermostat is $170.
Per Energy.gov, other ways to reduce your heating costs include:
- Open your curtains during the day to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to keep the warm air from escaping
- Add weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep warm air from leaking out
- Make sure any air ducts installed in unheated areas of the home (like an attic or crawlspace) are properly insulated