Oil and gas prices have risen significantly since their pandemic lows, but these savvy ways to cut heating costs will help you stay warm without breaking the bank.
Outsmart ‘rising’ heat by ‘blanketing in’ air.
“Hot air rises, making your heating system work harder and your bill climb faster,” says Jack Miller of home improvement blog HowIGetRidOf.com. An easy fix? Clip blankets to curtain rings, then slide the rings onto tension rods placed between doors or hallways that lead upstairs. This keeps air from escaping up so it stays warm down below.
Supercharge your heater with a quick vent dusting.
Heating vents tend to attract dust, mini insulators that block your system from emitting heat. To clear them so your system runs efficiently, give radiators, baseboard units or forced-air vents a quick once-over with the vacuum hose when you’re doing the floors. Then wipe them down once a month with a scented dryer sheet — it keeps dust from settling and creates a fresh scent every time the heat kicks on!
Spot drafts with incense.
Even a small draft can raise the heating bill by 20 percent. To find it? “Light an incense stick, then walk around areas with common air leaks,” says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy.com. “If the smoke trail wavers, you’ve located the leak!” Just grab a bit of caulk or foam insulation
to plug the drafty spot instantly and start saving big.
Reduce hot water temps by checking this setting.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most households only need water heater thermostats to be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to provide adequate hot water for dishes, laundry, and bathing. But many manufacturers default them to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. “Simply lowering it by a few degrees can slash up to 11 percent off your heating bill,” says Dallas HVAC expert Walter E. Bennett. “That’s up to $400 a year!”
Keep the thermostat low by boosting humidity.
The surprising (and free!) key to making your house feel warmer without raising the thermostat temperature? “Add a little humidity,” says Joel Phillips, founder of HomeGuideCorner.com. Simply leave the bathroom door open when showering, keep the top off of pots when cooking, and open the dishwasher after the wash cycle.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.