One of the financially related New Year’s resolutions you should make this 2021 is to save more money. After all, the pandemic is not yet over and the United States is still in recession. If you lose your job during these times of uncertainty, the money you’ve saved up will help you weather the storm as you find another source of income.
Saving money, however, can be a challenge for many individuals. An article from NPR revealed that 31 percent of households in the country are struggling to pay their utility bills. This is a huge problem during wintertime especially when the thermometer dips below freezing and folks have to rely on heating appliances to stay warm and toasty.
Although you can’t control the weather and the temperature, you can improve the way your house maintains heat along with how you use your HVAC system.
Here are a few tips to help you save on the ever-dreaded winter heating bill this 2021:
1. Service Your Heating System
Sometimes, you need to spend a bit of money to reduce your monthly utility bill. Find a professional who can inspect your heating appliance at least once a year. This service allows you to discover issues that keep your heating system from running optimally. Also, having someone check your furnace for problems can prevent minor problems from getting worse and causing unexpected breakdowns.
2. Replace Your Furnace
The lifespan of a traditional residential furnace typically lasts between 15 and 20 years. Once the heating system reaches the 15-year mark, it will gradually begin to become less efficient and lose its ability to distribute heat effectively and consistently.
Rather than settle with an old and inefficient heating system, look for a furnace replacement provider who can provide you with a new and energy-efficient home heating appliance.
3. Insulate Your House
A properly insulated home can save you a lot of money on your energy bills. You can start by sealing all the cracks and gaps in your house. Check for drafts around outlets, windows, pipes and doors. If you find an area that’s letting warm air escape, use outlet sealers and inexpensive draft blockers to solve the problem.
On top of checking for drafts, check if your home insulation is working properly. You’ll know that you’ve got an insulation problem on your hands if the snow on your roof melts too quickly during the day and turns into icicles at night. Upgrading or replacing your home insulation can save you money on your monthly energy costs.
4. Use a Humidifier
This device can help keep you and your family warm without causing a spike in your monthly heating expenses. During summer, you reduce humidity inside your home to stay comfortable, as water retains heat.
This wintertime, you’ll want to make the inside of your house more humid. Given that moist air feels warmer compared to dry air, you can operate a humidifier when the air is too dry. You can purchase this device at major outlets, such as Ace Hardware, Amazon, Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond.
5. Turn Down the Thermostat
Although staying comfortable inside your house is important during the cold season, you don’t want to spend too much money just to keep your living spaces at an unnecessarily warm temperature.
As much as possible, set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. At night, lower it to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you think that these figures are “too cold” for you, grab extra blankets or dress in layers to stay comfy.
Here are other thermostat-related tips to help you save money:
- Invest in a smart, programmable thermostat. This technology can learn your family’s movement patterns – and use this data to regulate your home temperature more efficiently.
- Configure your thermostat to a reasonable temperature during extreme cold snaps and retain that setting both day and night.
- If you need to make adjustments to the thermostat, do so gradually. Cranking the temp all the way up to max won’t heat your house faster. What’s worse, this puts an unnecessary strain on your HVAC device.
6. Cover Your Windows
Install insulated curtains or hang blankets over the windows at night to trap heat. When hanging blankets, thumbtack or tape the bottom and sides of the fabric to the windowsills or walls to maximize the insulation value.
Pro-tip: don’t forget to take out the coverings on the south side of your home during the day. The warming sunlight will help warm your home naturally.
Make 2021 the year you’ll save money on your heating bills. Staying warm (without draining your finances) is possible when you take note of these helpful tips.