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5 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bills

5 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bills

As the weather cools down, homebuyers across the nation will start turning on the heat and bracing for the accompanying energy bill. Whether your home is heated using electricity, gas or oil, heating is usually the largest bill, so it goes without saying that lowering this monthly bill is a priority. We have you covered with five great ways to lower your heating bill.

1. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats are becoming increasingly affordable, and can take a serious bite out of that heating bill. These thermostats can decrease the amount of heat being used at specific time periods, for example when no one is home. Some modern programmable thermostats - called "smart" thermostats- can even sense when you are on your way home by connecting with your mobile device.

2. Reverse your ceiling fan
Everyone knows that a ceiling fan can save you money on cooling in the summer by blowing cold air over your skin, but did you know that it can also save you money in the winter by redistributing warm air? Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan so that it sucks cool air up. This will displace the warm air that naturally accumulates around the ceiling, forcing it to flow down along the walls and back to the floor. According to Del Mar Fans & Lighting, this can save you up to 15 percent on your winter heating bills if you lower the thermostat to maintain the same temperature.

3. Use blinds and drapes strategically
If you have south-facing windows that let in significant light, they can actually let in more heat than they let out during the day. Light passes easily through windows, but once it strikes something inside it turns into heat. This heat has trouble passing through glass. We call this the greenhouse effect.

This means that you should leave your south facing window - or any windows that get significant daytime light - uncovered throughout the day. At night, when temperatures drop and light fades, pull the drapes and blinds down to keep that heat inside.

4. Invest in caulk
Caulk is cheap - heating a house is not. For less than $5 at your local home goods store, you can purchase weather caulking to seal the tiny gaps around your windows. According to One Hundred Dollars a Month, homes lose about one-third of their heat through windows and doors, so this is an important investment of time.

5. Purchase a home warranty
While an HMS® Home Warranty won't do anything to keep your heating bills down when everything is going smoothly, it will be there when the worst happens. A mechanical failure to a heating system can be a blow to even the most conservatively planned budget. A home warranty can help to hedge against the risk of an expensive repair or replacement.

While heating will still likely be your largest utility bill, using these tips can help to save you money and keep you feeling warm.