The U.S. Department of Energy says that home heating represents almost 50 percent of our annual energy bills, costing many people upward of $1,700 a year. When oil costs are exceptionally high or winters are especially bad, those prices go up and up.
What can you do as a homeowner to keep that cost as low as possible? Here are a few tips from the experts.
1. Turn Your Heat Down, but Not Off, When You Are Not Home
Howstuffworks.com calls it a common misconception that it takes more energy to warm up a cold house than it does to keep your house warm all day. This is partially due to our human perceptions and the days before programmable thermostats. We’ve all walked into a cold building and felt like it took forever to warm up. We hear the heaters hard at work and assume that must take way more energy than staying at a constant temperature all the time.
But heat escapes from the house all day, no matter how good the insulation is, so it’s taking that same energy, plus a bit more, to keep the house comfortably warm all day. You’re better off turning the heat down to a level where your things and plumbing are safe, so no lower than 55 degrees, when you are away.
2. Invest In a Programmable Thermostat
When you turn the temperature down while you’re away, you need to be willing to either walk into a cold house or set up a programmable thermostat to warm the house before you get home.
The same principle applies at night. Turn the thermostat down before you go to bed, and have it kick on before you get up in the morning.
What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat at Night in Winter?
Personal comfort levels vary but turning it down 10 degrees below your comfortable room temperature can help you save big. Again, never go below 55 degrees for the sake of your plumbing.
3. Turn On Your Ceiling Fans
Geico may be best known for helping people save on their insurance, but they have tips for saving on heating as well. Heat rises. Turning your ceiling fans on to rotate counterclockwise helps push the heat back down from the ceiling, keeping your living space more comfortable.
As a bonus, the heat is away from the ceiling and roof, where it is more likely to find ways to escape from your home.
4. Exploit Things That Naturally Warm Up the House
‘Tis the season for baking, and our stoves naturally give off extra warmth when we cook. The same thing with hot showers and that steam that you normally send right up an exhaust fan can be used to keep your furnace from having to kick on quite so often.
Avoid using exhaust fans and vents that steal the heat away. However, remember that an oven should never be used as a primary heat source.
5. Have Your Furnace Serviced
A dirty, old, or inefficient furnace system is one of the biggest energy wasters in terms of your heating bill. Having your furnace serviced annually and cleaned or regularly changing the filters can help you save money on your heating costs this year.
If your furnace is more than a decade old, you may want to consider upgrading to a new, more energy-efficient model.
Bonus Tip: Call Tragar Express to Get the Best Prices for Your Heating Oil
Buying in the off-season can be a great idea if your tank is large enough, but that’s not always possible, and it may not last all winter long. But you pay more when you buy in small quantities, so check Tragar Express for our published delivery prices and buy in bulk when you can.
Our same day and next day delivery service mean you can let the tank go a bit longer between refills and get that maximum volume discount. Contact us today.