Tips for lowering your heating bill generally include suggestions like caulking, weather-stripping and insulating. Following are some additional ways to augment those basics that require just a few minutes and some habit-building.
1 Reduce Ventilator Fan Use: We all rely on kitchen and bath fans, but during the winter they perform an unwanted function—they are efficient at transferring the warm air you’ve heated to the outside. A whole houseful of valuable heat can be whisked away in as little as an hour. Teach your family to turn fans on only when needed, and to turn them off as soon as possible.
2 Raise Your Humidity: Indoor winter air is often dry, and we feel colder in dry air. Raising the humidity level in your home will make you feel warmer and will allow your indoor air to retain heat longer. Using indoor racks to dry laundry, placing shallow containers of water in unobtrusive spots, and using kitchen and bath ventilators only to prevent window condensation are easy ways to help you get to the target zone of 30–50% humidity.
3 Help Heat Flow Freely: If even a few air registers are blocked by pieces of furniture, your furnace will be struggling to adequately heat the rest of the house. A quick check and some rearranging will make a big difference. And making sure hot air isn’t blowing directly into curtains will prevent major losses through window glass.
4 Use Blinds and Curtains Strategically: Leaving south-facing windows uncovered during sunny days will naturally raise the temperature of the room, and pruning foliage that blocks the sun will increase the benefit. Closing all curtains and blinds before dark will add extra insulation to help retain the existing heat in the house.
You’ll hopefully be more comfortable and may see some savings on your monthly bill.