Decrease Your Monthly Heating Bills
Taking advantage of your household’s rhythm is one of the best ways to save on heating costs. You can achieve significant savings by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and lowering it while your family is asleep or away from home. Turning the thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours saves up to 15 percent a year on heating costs.
This practice will save more money in Middle Tennessee than a colder climate such as the Northeast. You’ll save as much as 1 percent for each degree you set back for an eight-hour period.
Find and seal drafts, leaks and holes
- Check exterior door thresholds; install a winterizing flap if you have a gap. Alternatively, for doors not used often, use a rolled up towel to keep warm air inside.
- If windows remain drafty after weatherstripping and/or caulking, use tight-fitting window treatments that are insulated.
- In a guest room or other space used infrequently, close the registers and shut the doors.
- Lower the heat in zones in attics and basements if they aren’t main living areas and have little traffic.
- Older homes without updated, double-paned windows will benefit from heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet either framed or taped to the inside of the window frame itself – especially in little-used rooms.
- Wall areas cut to accommodate plumbing, electric wall sockets, unfinished spaces behind closets, and gaps around chimneys all lose warm air to the outside. Find these leaks and seal them.
Saving heat with fireplaces
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- If you don’t use the fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. An open damper is like an open window and warm air flies up and out of the chimney.
- Reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox if you have them or open the nearest window about 1 inch and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
Regular HVAC system maintenance also saves money by keeping your unit in good condition and catching small problems before they become big repairs.
Related HVAC information
How to troubleshoot your thermostat
Understanding heat pumps and furnaces