11 Frugal Heating Tips

by Marcy on February 3, 2014 · 0 comments

11 frugal heating tips

Frugal Heating Tips

Winter in Ohio can range from boring and somewhat mild to snowy, icy and cold. This year we are experiencing the snowy, icy, COLD – one of the more extreme winters that I have lived through in my 30+ years. Last week I got to witness snow rollers for the first time, a bright spot in the middle of an otherwise miserable winter. The field in front my my daughter’s elementary school was filled with them – it was a pretty cool sight. In addition to snow rollers, we have experienced negative temperatures lower than I can ever remember. That means that my daughters and I have spent much of this month holed up at home where it is warm.

I know that many of you are also experiencing the same kind of winter where you live (maybe worse), and with these frigid temperatures comes a spike in our heating bills. I thought it might be beneficial to share a list of tips that I have to help offset a large increase in the cost of heating your home, and to keep yourself more comfortable if you make the decision to lower your thermostat.

Also be sure to check out my article on How Budget Utility Plans Work. I have both my electric and natural gas bills set up on a budget utility plan so that my bill is the same amount every month. I have found this to be an extremely helpful tool in managing our household budget each month…and it’s FREE!

Here are 11 Frugal Heating Tips to help you get the biggest bang for your heating buck this winter:

  • If you can permanently lower your thermostat – even just one degree – you will see your biggest savings. Try lowering your thermostat one degree at time to see how low you can go without it really bothering you.
  • Get a programmable thermostat. You don’t want wild fluctuations in the temperature of your home, but lowering it a couple of degrees while you are out of the house or sleeping will definitely help reduce your bill. Anything more than that and it will take so much energy to raise it back to where you want it when you are home, that it will negate your savings of lowering it, so keep the changes small.
  • Make an investment in your home and add insulation in your attic. You will get a warmer home and lower your heating bill for years to come. (See 6 Tips for DIY Winterizing Your Home for more ideas).
  • Use your blinds and curtains to your advantage. Open them to let the sun in to naturally warm up your house, then close them to keep drafts out. I noticed a big difference in our living room when we had subzero temps by doing this.
  • Seal up drafts if you can. Go around your doors and windows and feel for drafts. You can add weather stripping or caulking as needed. If you have drafts in your electrical outlets (on exterior walls) you can buy insulation inserts for just a couple of dollars a pack at any home improvement store. If your windows are really bad you can buy plastic to cover them. After you get them in place go over it with a hair dryer to shrink the plastic against the windows and you will hardly notice it is there.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. It is winter, t-shirts and shorts should be packed away. Wear layers and make sure to wear socks. If you work from home like I do and are sitting for extended periods of time, consider turning down the thermostat and wearing fingerless gloves and put a blanket on your lap. I received new slippers for Christmas this year and they are on my feet constantly.
  • Don’t hesitate to move around. Exercise will warm up your body. Even just going up and down the stairs will do a lot to raise your body temperature – which will prevent you from raising your thermostat.
  • If you have rooms that go unused close the vents and doors. By closing the area off you will divert the heat to other areas of the house.
  • Eat warm foods or drink hot beverages. After standing out at the bus stop I come in and have coffee or hot tea – this warms me up without having to turn my thermostat up.
  • If you bake a lot, use your oven to your advantage! When you are done baking, prop the oven door open so the heat escapes into the kitchen. I view this as a free heating source.
  • If you have to purchase heating oil – try to refill your heating oil in the summer when the prices are much lower. This isn’t much help right now – but make a note on your calendar now and prepare ahead for next year.

Do you have any great frugal heating tips to keep your heating bill low? Please share, I would love to get some new ideas!
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