The weather outside may be frightful, but if you’re a home owner, chances are your heating bill is the thing you’re more worried about. Even if you have a moderately sized home, keeping it warm during the winter isn’t cheap. After all, who wants to come home to a cold house?
With a little thoughtful planning, you can keep your costs under control without having a home that feels like a set piece in the movie Frozen.
Keep the Heat In
“We’re not paying to heat the outside.”
A popular saying by parents everywhere, children learn exactly what this means when they get their first heating bill. Keeping your doors and windows shut can save you a lot of money during cold winter months, but what if those doors and windows aren’t air tight?
According to Time Magazine, having a 1/8 of an inch gap under your door will let as much heat escape as a two-and-a-half-inch hole punched in your wall. In fact, your doors and windows account for 21% of the heat loss in your home. Investing in a home renovation might not make financial sense right now, but there’s a few inexpensive ways you can cut down the amount of heat you’re using.
Instead of investing in new windows, save money by sealing your existing frames with a layer of plastic that’s secured around the edge of the glass. Similarly, you can stop any heat from escaping under your doors with a draft snake that you can make on your own.
Only Heat Room’s You’re Using
Heating your entire home is expensive, so why waste cash warming rooms you’re not using? It’s important to keep your pipes from freezing, but unless you have people in every room of your home at all times, you don’t need to keep your thermostat set at 68 or above.
Invest in a few comfortable sweaters and dial back the thermostat to something you find comfortable walking around in wearing them. The Chicago Tribune reported that every degree you dial your thermostat back could cut as much as 1% off your heating bill.
Space heaters are another way you can help cut costs. There are a few rooms you might want to have warmer than the rest of your home, such as your dining room, bedroom, or kitchen. Instead of heating the rest of the house to make those rooms more tolerable, a space heater provides warmth where you need it. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
If reducing your thermostat by 1 degree means saving up to 1% on your heating bill, imagine what you can do if you set the dial back even further? But there’s a difference between being frugal and walking around your home in a winter coat.
Why waste cash heating a home when you’re not there? Turning back the thermostat when you leave for the day can save a lot in heating costs, and so will keeping your house a few degrees cooler overnight when you’re warm under your blankets. Sure, you can adjust the temperature manually, but wouldn’t it be nicer to handle it from your cellphone?
Several companies offer “smart thermostats” that connect to your phone through your home’s WiFi and let you change the temperature wherever you are. Some models are even smart enough to change the temperature automatically when it knows you’re on your way home.
An Affordable Cozy Home
At the end of a long day, chances are you’re looking forward to curling up on your favorite chair or in your bed and forgetting about the cold weather until you must go outside again. With a few small adjustments, you can warm your winter palace, save money, and pick up a few fashionable sweaters to wear. Maybe it IS a winter wonderland after all.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. J.G. Wentworth does not provide financial, legal, or tax advice. Please contact an appropriate advisor for such services.
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