Saving Money in Colder Weather

Michelle —  October 29, 2012 — 9 Comments

Lately, we’ve been having some cold days where I live. Just the other day it was almost 90 degrees, then the VERY next day it was only 35 degrees. What?! This crazy weather is most likely hurting my wallet. One day I have the air conditioning on and then the next day I have my heat on.

Some of you probably don’t do this and would tell me just to adjust myself to the temperature, but I like to feel comfortable in my house :)

If you’re like me, all you did was flip the switch to turn on the heat but didn’t think of anything else that you could’ve been doing. However, every year my gas company gives me a comparison of my usage and costs compared to the year earlier, and this year I would like to beat that and use less heat and spend less money on my bill.

There are many things that you can do to save money on your heat bill this year. All of the tips below are really quick and easy things that you could be doing, but maybe you haven’t thought of them yet since we are so early into the cold weather season so far this year.

1. Curtains.

There are curtains that you can buy that can help keep the heat in and keep the cold drafts out. They might be fairly expensive near you, but they can be a good investment. Also, opening curtains on sides of the house where all of the sun’s heat comes in is good also. Open up those blinds and soak up the sun!

2. Wear warmer clothes.

I’m still running around in my warm weather clothes and pajamas around my house, when I should be bundling up. Wearing an extra layer of clothes such as a cardigan or pants can help a lot once it starts getting colder. Wearing socks and slippers definitely helps as well.

3. Thicker blankets.

Instead of cranking up the heat when you’re about to go to bed, buy a warmer blanket! Seems like a no brainer right? I’m sure you have extra blankets around the house, get them out of storage and put them on your bed. Heated blankets work wonders as well and they usually don’t cost too much.

4. Adjust the temperature for when no one is home.

If no one is home for hours and hours during the day, then turn the heat down so that you can save more on your bill. However, if you will only be gone for 1 or 2 hours, then it’s probably best just to leave it where it’s at, as your furnace will have to work extra to get it back to where it was before you left (thus eliminating any gain that you could’ve made).

5. Monitor the thermostat.

Do you notice a big difference between 68 degrees and 72 degrees? Your body may not notice that big of a difference, but your wallet definitely will. Adjust the thermostat to see what you are comfortable with. Higher temperatures of course equal higher bills. Lately we’ve been keeping it at around 68 degrees and I believe last year our bill averaged around $150 a month.

6. Change your fan setting/direction.

A tip that I didn’t know of until last year was that you should be adjusting your fan setting. Usually there is a “winter” setting that is located right on your fan. Just click it over and that will help you save money as well.

What do you do to save money on your heating bill?

Michelle

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Michelle is the founder of Making Sense of Cents, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life, and you can also connect with her on twitter.

9 responses to Saving Money in Colder Weather

  1. I’m always trying to find ways to save on my electric bill. The weather has been the same here in the last week, so I’ve went from a/c, to no a/c, to heat. As of now, I keep the thermostat on 70 during the day and bump up to 72 at night. Once winter really hits, we will start putting towels at the foot of our doors to keep the cold air out. Especially our basement door because that’s where the coldest air comes in. Brrr, I dread winter.

  2. To go along with the curtains, investing in energy efficient windows is a huge help. Huge upfront expense but saves money long term! If you can’t afford the windows buying the plastic that goes over the windows helps preserve heat in the winter!

  3. How much do thicker curtains really save? I don’t know anyone who has bought them.

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