My heat has been on for at least 4 weeks. I live in a Northern state where it gets brutally cold in the winter. Along with the cold comes high heating bills.
So my husband and I do whatever we can do prepare our home and make sure that our heat isn't leaking outdoors. This year we caulked all of the windows where it was needed and checked all of the weather stripping on the doors. Our home is only a little over 5 years old it was amazing how much caulk needed to be redone.
We heat with natural gas. I am reading that the natural gas rates should be cheaper this winter. Some of the weather sources are telling us that it will be a warmer than usual winter and others tell us it will be colder and much more snow. I have found that the only weather forecast that I can rely on is to look out the window and see what it is doing outside.
Since we are older, we get a lot colder than we did when we were younger. We keep our heat at 69 during the day and 65 at night. When we were under 55, we could tolerate 65 during the day and 60 at night by wearing sweaters or sweatshirts and putting an electric blanket on our bed. We still use the electric blanket but keeping the heat higher is a necessity that we planned for.
We do have two extra bedrooms that are used only when we have overnight guests. So we close those off and shut the doors. We also have insulated cloth snakes that we put at the bottom of the doors to make sure the heat from the rest of the house isn't leaking into those rooms. If you don't have snakes, you could use rolled up towels. Just don't do this in an extra bathroom where you could have pipes freeze.
Our basement is insulated and could be heated but we keep the heat registers closed down there. I keep cloth snakes at the bottom of the two doors into the basement also.
When I bake in the winter whether it be in the regular oven or the toaster oven, I leave the door open when I am done to let the heat into the house. Being that we like cooking in small appliances, we use those as often as we can to cook meals because that saves on the natural gas bill. My husband is preparing chili to go in our crockpot as I write this.
When the sun is shining I open the South facing windows to let it help heat the house. If the sun isn't shining, I keep the energy saving shades drawn on the windows. In this climate that we are in, I keep the North, East and West facing window shades down.
We only use our garage door entry in the winter. It stays warmer and we can close our inside door before opening the garage door. If we used the front or back doors, we would get too much cold air flowing in.
Every month I change the filter on the furnace so that it keeps the air flowing freely. We just use the cheapest filters we can get on the recommendation of our heating man. He says a lot of the pleated and fancier filters restrict air flow which does not help with your bills.
Every month I try to reduce both our gas and electric bills. But in the winter it is hard with the heat. So I do whatever I can do reduce the part of the bill that isn't heat.
Please feel free to leave a comment and share how you reduce those heating bills.