Beat the Winter Chill with These Heating Secrets

secretsThe average family in New Jersey spends between $200-$400 every month to keep the house warm and toasty during winter months. This average applies to many other states where the temperature drops and the snow flies. Heating is a necessity of life in these areas—which is ironic, because just a few months earlier, it’s virtually impossible to get by without air conditioning!

But since technology is constantly making strides in every other department, why not heating efficiency? Why aren’t there ways to cut your heating bill significantly, to free up space in your budget for something special? A warm Jamaican getaway in the middle of February, for example?

Who knows—fifty years from now, we might have super efficient heating technology that brings our monthly heating bills down to zero. Until then, we have to be creative and think of practical ways to cut our heating expenses.

Seal windows and doors

This isn’t so much a secret as it is common sense, yet many people overlook it (or just forget). Making sure your home is tightly sealed against the cold is a highly effective way to bring heating costs down. Failure to do so will literally send your heating dollars out the window.

Ventilate your home

If you think ventilators are solely for air quality, take another look. Most modern ventilators have sophisticated functions that clear your air and make your heating and cooling appliances more efficient.

Tune and/or upgrade your furnace

A new furnace is obviously a way to cut heating costs, especially if you look at how far these appliances have come in terms of efficiency. Of course, it will take time before the savings actually pay for the furnace. But if you find that it is time for a replacement, ask an HVAC specialist how you can achieve maximum efficiency over the long term. Efficiency upgrades may also be possible for your existing furnace, allowing you to save cash with a smaller investment.

Clean your ducts

Dirty and obstructed ducts, like leaky windows and doors, can prevent heated air from reaching and staying in the rooms where it’s needed. Make sure your ducts are clean ahead of the winter season. If you don’t want to do this yourself, an HVAC specialist can provide the service for a nominal fee.

Manage your thermostat wisely

It’s wise to turn your thermostat down at night while you’re under that nice heavy quilt—but not too much! Five or six degrees is a number that many people have success with. If you go much lower than that, the system has to work much harder to warm the place up in the morning. Your potential savings will be reduced if not erased.

Programmable thermostats are a very hand invention for energy efficiency. You can set a program for the day, or different programs for different days, to make your heating dollars work harder for you. Smart thermostats, controlled from your phone or tablet, are the next generation of this concept.

Put a dent in your heating bill!

A little common sense and discipline is all it takes. And of course, if your furnace and or ducts are old and outdated, you may need to invest in new hardware. It’s tough to spend when you’re looking to save, but heating is not going to get any less important in New Jersey or other areas where winters or cold. Investing will pay off in the long haul. It can also add value to your home.

Whatever your situation, savings are possible when you put yourself in the right frame of mind. You might even save enough to afford that Jamaican getaway, where indoor heating will be the least of your worries!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your thoughts in the area below.