Taming that heating bill: easy ways to save money on your heating bill

When that monthly heating bill arrives in the mailbox, it’s likely to make you cringe. As with everything else, the cost of heating your home doesn’t seem to go down. However, there are plenty of ways to save money on your heating bill. It’s mostly a matter of changing habits and making a few inexpensive repairs and changes around the house. Here are several ways to get that heating bill to a realistic level.

Did you know that turning the temperature setting on your water heater down by just 2-3 degrees, you’ll save up to 3% each year on your heating bill? You’ll never notice the temperature difference in the shower or at the kitchen sink. If your water heater is not insulated, do so right away for substantial savings.

If you keep your thermostat set at 70 degrees, try turning it down to 65 degrees during the winter and just put on a sweater. In summer, set the air conditioner to kick in just a few degrees higher. Both of these measures will also save money on your heating bill.

Here’s one that’s more difficult when you’ve got kids in the house. Each time a family member leaves a room, be sure to turn the lights out. Training the kids – and the grownups – can be done by placing a sign in a prominent spot, right by the light switch, which reads ‘Turn off the light!’. Kids tend to quickly learn to help save money on your heating bill with this strategy. It’s just too embarrassing to have their friends see the sign. Another way to cut energy costs is by replacing conventional light bulbs with the pricier energy saving bulbs. Replace just one each month, beginning with the ones most often in use. Turning off computers and TVs when not in use saves more money. In a year’s time, you’ll increasingly save money on your heating bill. Watch it drop each month!

When you do laundry, go for a full load. Use the coolest temperature setting possible, while still getting the clothes clean. As for the dryer, clean out the lint trap every time you finish a load. An automatic drying cycle uses less heat than a timed cycle.

When you’re baking a pie, or roasting a chicken, use the toaster oven, rather than the full sized oven. This is a great way to save money on your heating bill. Why heat an oven three times the size required? Slow cookers are also great energy savers.

If you’ve got ten pounds of beef you bought on sale, make five meat loafs at once in the full sized oven. When they’re cooled, slice in individual portions and freeze. It requires little energy to reheat a portion for lunch or dinner on the fly. You also save money on your heating bill by putting that oven to good use all in one shot. Heating the water to clean up once beats repeating the clean up five times in individual efforts.

During the cold months, you’ll want to cover portable air conditioners on the outside to prevent cold air seeping in.

Our last tip on how to save money on your heating bill is perhaps the best of the lot. Check all of your doors and windows for a tight seal. You can easily check for leaks by lighting a match and holding it to the edge of the window or door. Replacing worn out weatherstripping will get that heating bill down faster than anything else.

While no one looks forward to a heating bill, you might smile at the savings!