Thursday, October 11, 2012

Frugal Heating Tips

Fall has arrived, and with it the return of the furnace.  Here are a few tips on how to keep heating costs low, freeing up more dollars for savings or other expenditures:

  1. Set the thermostat for 5 degrees below your current setting.  We have ours at 62 when we are home, and when we are gone, we set it for 60 degrees;
  2. Maximize free heat from nature....throw open those drapes and curtains and let the sun shine in;
  3. Locate drafts and block them.  Stuff a long tube sock with rice or beans, tie closed, and place along the bottom of a door.  Use caution when buying pricey window sealer kits; will you really save that much money?;
  4. Don't heat your basement if you don't live there.  We close the vents to our ranch house basement.  As a result we are heating half the space.  And I keep a small space heater in my basement office; why heat the entire area when a small box at my fee dose the job;
  5. Schedule a tune-up for your furnace -- an efficient and clean furnace will save you money;
  6. Dress for the winter weather when indoors -- pack away shorts and t-shirts, and pull out heavy socks, fleece and winter quilts; and
  7. Don't run the fireplace in the dead of simply lets the warm are inside escape via the chimney.  Fall and Spring are ideal times to fire up a fireplace, take the chill out of the air, but not cause your furnace to work overtime.
How about you?  Any frugal thoughts on how to make the most of the winter heating season?


  1. Actually, by simply practicing the responsibility of habitually cleaning or changing the furnace filters, a homeowner can keep his electric bills low during winter. The thing is when the filters are dirty, unclean air tends to be directed to other parts of the equipment, which can later cause damage. In this case, the furnace has to work harder in order to sustain air flow, causing utility bills to go up.

    - Jamaal Milner

    1. Jamaal -- Yes, you've got a great point! I think I was lumping a new filter into the "tune up" category, however, it is an easy thing to do without calling in a service tech. Thanks for sharing, and for reading!


  2. Great tips, Melinda! A lot of homeowners would definitely benefit from this list. It would also be wise if you keep your heating units well-maintained so that you won't have to pay extra for repairs that could have been avoided in the first place.

  3. I'd also recommend getting a home energy audit. Auditors can detect leaks and other structural inefficiencies in your home that can be easily fixed(most of the time). Definitely worth the investment in the long run.

    Also, you don't have to keep the thermostat at 62 degrees to be frugal, but every degree you do turn it down helps! We turn ours from 68 to 60 while we're sleeping or gone, and it helps a lot.