Click here for my 2017 home heating oil price predictions and forecast.
Summer is officially over. That means that soon the days and night are going to get cooler until winter is officially upon us. In some places in North America winter is already knocking at the door and you may be feeling the chill. One of the things that people dread most about winter is the uptick in their heating bill. Before you submit to the high cost of heating this winter you should try to find ways to cut your heating bill. Even if you have to invest some cash to do it, the pay off over time will be well worth the investment.
Install new windows – While this is an expensive proposition it can be one of the biggest money savers in the long run. Those old, single-pane windows actually conduct the cold instead of insulating your home from it. Choose double pain windows and your house will warm up significantly.
Swap your old thermostat for a programmable one – This is a relatively inexpensive fix that can save lots of cash. You can set it to warm up a bit when the family is getting up in the morning and then cool off while they are away at work or school during the day. You can program it to suit your needs with different options on the weekends. You should consider getting one for both the upstairs and downstairs so they do not have to adjust at the same time.
Replace an old furnace – Older furnaces are up to 80% less efficient then new ones. This is one expense that you will see the return on your investment immediately. We recently replaced the old boiler for a hefty $8,000 but, it cut the heating bill last winter down at least $200 a month.
Cozy up your water heater – You probably have never thought about it but your heat costs including keeping hot water all through the winter. Since most water heaters are tanks, they have to work harder during the cold months to keep enough water hot to meet the needs of your family. You can help the process along by putting a water heater blanket around the unit. Go to your local hardware store and ask for one. An inexpensive fix for a costly problem.
Evaluate your source – Switching from electric heat to gas heat may be very expensive, but if prices are right you will reap the benefit quickly. It is hard to say which is less expensive between gas or electric heat because it depends on the average cost of each in the area where you live. Some homeowners have saved a substantial amount of money switching to geothermal energy heating systems as well. Do some research on the cost to heat your home and get the most for your money by switching to the least expensive option. If you are using wood to heat your home consider installing gas or electric. While wood burning gives a home a cozy feel it is not the most efficient form of heating because the chimney lets out most of the heat and lets cold back in when the wood is not burning. Save the fires for special occasions.
Using more efficient heating options and making changes that lower your heating bill is one of the best things you can do for your winter budget. In addition to spending less money you will also be helping to make our world just a little cleaner and better for future generations. Those rewards cannot be measured in terms of dollars and cents, but trust in the fact that you, your children, and your children’s children will benefit from the choices you make today.
The preceding article was written by Alban. Alban is a personal finance writer at Home Loan Finder, which offers information on reverse mortgages.
Too Much Debt? Download our free Trees Full of Money Debt Snowball Calculator and see how quickly you can pay off your debt.