I've been doing some research to figure out how to bring down my heating costs. See the collection of links at the end of the post for some good ideas.
For those who have read my previous posts, you know by now that I live in a place that gets a decent amount of snow. Even with our unseasonably warm (and whacky) weather this year, this town gets cold. And I don't like being cold.
I recently got on the budget plan with my utility company so I have a consistent payment every month. However, I have been keeping an eye on the details of the bill anyway to compare my usage this year to last. I would ideally like to bring it down, not just to deal with the rising cost of fuel but also to be a little kinder to the environment.
So, what do I already do, and what can I improve?
Thankfully my house has one... and I know how to use it! I used to keep the temperature at 68+ degrees when I was at home but this year I seem to be managing just fine with 66 degrees in the evenings. Here's my temperature schedule:
5am-8am 68 degrees (I hate getting out of bed into cold air, the warmer the better)
8am- 7pm 59 degrees (this is the time I am at work or running errands etc.)
7pm - 10pm 66 degrees
10pm-5am 62 degrees
Wear Warmer Clothes in the House
You'd think this was a no-brainer. I didn't like doing it because the clothes felt so restrictive. But I got a couple of large roomy sweatshirts that I now love bumming around in. I also started wearing socks around the house. What a difference that made. Can you tell I wasn't raised in a cold climate? The things one learns.
Sealing Windows and Doors
The previous owner left a cute "draft dodger" for the front door. But the back door sure lets a lot of air through. On a particularly windy day I can have quite a bit of snow inside my back door. I need to get proper weather stripping there. Newer windows throughout the house so their weather stripping is pretty good. I just need to make sure they are closed and locked properly.
Hot Water Heater
I can turn down the temperature on my hot water heater. I can also shorten my showers and use cold water in my washing machine.
I will make sure to check/replace my filter every 2-3 months.
I will add more insulation to my attic.
That's the list I can handle right now. When I feel a little more adventurous I shall tackle a few more of the suggestions that can be found in the following links:
12 Simple Ways to Save Money on Utilities (and the Planet) at Fivecentnickel
Save Money on Heating Costs at About.com
Home heating tips to save fuel and money at Greenerchoices.org
Saving Money on Home Heating at Pioneer Thinking
Eleven Ways We are Going to Save Money on Heating Costs This Winter at Blogging Away Debt
And this huge archive at The Dollar Stretcher