3 Tips to Lower Your Utility Bill this Winter
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
By Karly Dwenger
A high heating bill in the winter can pack a punch to your finances, especially during and after the holiday season. With the temperatures reaching below ten degrees in Cincinnati, it can pose a real challenge for families to stay warm while keeping their bill maintainable. If you'd like to lower your heating bill this winter without freezing, here are three simple yet useful tricks.
1. Consider a Smart Thermostat
If you don't already have one, this is an easy and usually inexpensive solution to lower your bill in general. Typically these programmable thermostats cost anywhere from $30-$100, but that's money you can make back when your bill is lowered.
This kind of thermostat allows you to adjust your home's heat on a schedule, so you can lower it when no one is home or while you're sleeping. They are designed to offer more savings without sacrificing comfort. Air-Flow technicians can answer more questions if you're interested in upgrading your thermostat. However, if you decide to keep your manual thermostat, even lowering it by five degrees can deliver more savings and typically you won't notice a difference.
2. Get a Checkup
This may seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring your HVAC system is working correctly
and efficiently can save you money this winter. Keeping up with proper maintenance can save you from a failing unit, and ultimately higher bills. Units usually require a tune up twice a year, but you should have it looked at once a year at the minimum. It's more useful to get your check up before the winter months, so you don't have to worry when the cold comes. If your unit needs work, it could be using up more energy consumption and costing you more in the long run. Also, changing your filters regularly to make sure they are clean is important; dirty filters make your furnace work harder which could lead to other issues as well.
3. Don't Let the Heat Escape
It's a waste to let your heat escape unnecessarily; keep windows and doors shut as much as possible when the heat is on. Make sure to turn off bathroom ventilation fans as well as kitchen ventilation fans when they aren't being used. If your home has a fireplace that isn't used, double check that the flue is closed and the fireplace doors are shut to minimize wasting heat. Another tactic you can do yourself is search for air leaks. Light a candle (not for warmth) and hold the flame near windows, doors, and light fixtures to look for smoke moving horizontally. More often than not, this means you have an air leak, which can be fixed with low-cost caulking or weather-stripping, or you can consider adding some extra insulating material.