Seven Tips for Lowering Your Home Heating Bills this Winter

As the temperatures start to plummet, homeowners crank up their furnaces and, unfortunately, many times their heating bills, too. The following are a few tips to help keep your home and your wallet well insulated.

  1. Close down unused spaces for the winter. If you tend to stay out of certain parts of your house throughout the winter, consider closing vents and doors to those spaces. By shutting them off from your heating system, you’ll be saving money and letting your furnace work more efficiently.
  2. Clean heating filters and furnace. Dust can accumulate on radiators, filters, and vents. This makes your heating system less efficient and requires more energy to produce the same amount of heat to fill up a room. With this in mind, it’s important to check and clean these areas a couple of times throughout the winter.
  3. Use your ceiling fans. This might sound counterintuitive, but ceiling fans can also be used for heating. If homeowners set fans to turn clockwise at low speeds, the warm air trapped at the ceiling will be circulated down with the cooler air and heat the entire room. Some experts point to a 15% savings on heating bills for the entire house just from this one tactic.
  4. Seal leaks around windows, doors and pipes. Old and peeling weather stripping around doors and windows can let in cold air and create excessive drafts. A short visit to your local home improvement store to get replacement weather stripping and window caulk could pay big dividends.
  5. Use space heaters. Try bringing a portable space heater with you from room to room during the day. This allows you to keep your overall home thermostat set a few degrees cooler, which can translate into big savings.
  6. Close the curtains. Drawing the curtains or drapes during cold winter nights will also help keep heat in. Consider using insulated curtains. Not only can they significantly lower heating costs, they can be a great way of blocking outside noise. To find the ideal curtains, try looking for those with high-density foam insulation and reflective backing, which help direct heat back into the room.
  7. More blankets, more sweaters. This sounds so simple, but it’s a best practice. Running a slightly lower home temperature during the day and at night can find you some savings in your heating bill.

Seasonal Migration; Not Just for The Birds

As the weather takes a turn for the worse, the thought of getting away to a warmer climate becomes more appealing. The term “snowbird” is often used to describe those who migrate from colder climates to sunny locations for extended periods each year. Becoming a snowbird and owning a home in another state can provide more than just a respite from the cold. Read on for more about the benefits of being a snowbird.

Smart Ideas for Staying Warm: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Winter Energy Bill

If you’ve ever received a letter from your local energy company comparing your energy usage to your neighbors, you’ve probably wondered what you could be doing differently to save money. Here are five tips to help you reduce your energy costs while staying warm this winter.

Ready. Set. Entertain! Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

As much as we look forward to the holidays, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can often feel like an endless round of decorating, cooking, and entertaining. To reduce stress and prevent holiday burnout, use these tips to make this season easy, enjoyable, and memorable.

Gift Giving Made Easy: Fun and Ingenious Ways to Streamline Your Holiday Shopping and Manage Your Budget

When it comes to holiday gifts, it really is the thought that counts. While it can be fun to indulge your family and friends with extravagant gifts, it’s not always necessary. With a little forethought and planning, it’s easy to manage your budget and impress your loved ones with cost-effective gifts that convey how much you care about them.

Get Your Garden Winter-Ready: 7 Easy Ideas for a Fall Weekend

Winter is a gardener’s friend, providing flowers, shrubs, and trees with a well-deserved opportunity to rest and rejuvenate after a lush, showy summer. To give your garden a jumpstart on next spring, spend a sunny fall weekend planting, mulching, and watering. With these autumnal preparations, your efforts will be rewarded next spring with a healthier, more beautiful landscape.

Getting Your House in Order: How to Build Your Own Home Repair Rolodex®

With cooler weather just around the corner, now’s a great time to get your personal Rolodex® of home service experts in order—before you actually need them. After all, the best time to call an electronics installer is before you buy the deluxe home entertainment system, and the worst time to find a friendly, cost-effective plumber is after your pipes have frozen. To help create your list of trusted home experts, here are some tips for finding the right people for each job.