If you are wondering what you can do to reduce your heating bills immediately, consider the suggestions below. They are arranged on order of urgency and importance.
- Use a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your thermostat set point back at night and during the day when no one is home. Or remember to change the temperature set point manually every day.
- If you stay alone in a large house, try to confine your activities to one room and leave the remainder of the house at the low nighttime set point. Heat your daytime activity room to a comfortable temperature with an electric space heater.
- Use electric blankets or quilts for sleeping comfort and to allow a lower nighttime thermostat setting.
- Change your furnace filter as often as it gets dirty. Buy several when you shop so that you will have one when you need it.
- Seal large air leaks around plumbing pipes, wires, chimneys and other penetrations through your floors and ceilings. You can find these from your attic or basement.
- Make sure that all your storm windows are closed during winter weather. If your storm windows are broken or missing, repair or replace them.
- Open drapes and blinds on your home's south-facing windows during the day to let solar heat in.
- Be sure that your walls are filled with insulation and that your attic has at least 8 inches of insulation. Nothing can compensate for lack of insulation. Insulate your walls and attic if they need it.
- If you must replace a gas furnace, choose a 90 percent-efficient model to save on heating costs.
The last two ideas may require some planning and budgeting. Your local utility or energy expert can provide advice.