Whether you live in a temperate climate or a place where the winters are downright bone-chilling, there is something even scarier than all that ice, snow and cold weather. When the temperature starts to drop and the nights get longer and longer, chances are you dread your heating bill in your mailbox even more than you fear the high winds and blizzard conditions outside your front door.
It is a sad fact of life that heating costs tend to rise in the winter months, but you do not have to live with month after month of short budgets or cut back on the things that make you happy. With a few simple changes, and some common sense, you can reduce your winter heating bill without putting on an extra sweater or piling on the blankets.
Get a Pre-Season Tune-Up
One of the best ways to lower your winter heating bill is to have your furnace thoroughly inspected before the coldest part of the year arrives. Whether your heating system is a decade or more old or brand new, a pre-season inspection can help you identify potential problems and keep your furnace running at peak efficiency.
Having a thorough inspection of your heating system now can save you a ton of money on winter heating bills later, but do not wait too long to schedule the service. Heating contractors are far more busy in the winter months, so try to schedule your inspection for the fall or even earlier.
Look for Energy Leaks
It is bad enough to spend big bucks heating your home in the winter months, but it is even worse to watch that heated air escape through your drafty doors and windows. If you have not yet inspected your home and searched for air leaks, now is the time to do it.
If you want to maximize the value of your inspection and find those air leaks more quickly, just wait for the next cold and windy day. Those days will become more common as fall gives way to winter, so you should not have to wait too long.
Walk toward each window in your home and feel for drafts where the glass meets the wood frame. If the leaks are minor, you can probably seal the space with a little bit of clear caulk or sealant. If the damage is more severe, it may be worthwhile to replace the worst of your windows with newer and more energy-efficient models.
You should also seal the space under your doors, either by installing new door sweeps or using a draft dodger placed in front of each exterior door. These simple changes can make a big difference and keep the air you pay to heat inside where it belongs.
Winter heating bills can be downright scary, but there are steps you can take to make them less frightening. Spending some time, and a bit of money, now can make a world of difference later and help you save big money all winter long.