You Can Pay Less to Heat Your Home This Winter

Here are five ways to cut costs on energy bills.

steam radiator

Photo via iStock

Lowering your heating bill goes beyond reaching for a sweater—even for hardy New Englanders. Cutting costs comes down to saving energy, and Stephanie Vanderbilt, co-owner of Beverly-based Coastal Windows & Exteriors, has a few recommendations for doing so without spending big on new windows or heating systems.

Here, find five tips to keep your house warm and cost-effective all season long.

1. Uncover your vents, then clean them.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget to lift the covers off your vents. After opening them, they deserve a good cleaning. Ensure they’re unblocked and free of debris. “Otherwise, your furnace will be working to push out warm air that will never reach its destination,” says Vanderbilt.

2. Seal air leaks.

Aside from trusty plastic wrap window insulators, it helps to seal gaps and cracks near windows, doors, and plumbing with the real stuff—caulk, weatherstripping, and expanding foam sealants. They’re especially useful for larger gaps found around plumbing and electrical outlets.

3. Wash your clothes in cold water.

A huge chunk of the energy used by washing machines goes toward heating the water. “Wash your clothes in cold water and watch your savings start to pile up,” says Vanderbilt.

4. Install a low-flow shower head.

What’s a low-flow showerhead, you ask? It’s pretty much like it sounds—low-flows reduce water consumption and function just like a regular showerhead. Vanderbilt explains they can put out as little as 1.5 gallons of water per minute, compared to the typical 4 to 5 gallons.

5. Close your chimney damper.

This tip is simple yet effective—keeping the damper tightly closed prevents warm air from escaping the home, says Vanderbilt. No chimney? Consider cleaning your furnace’s air filter.

You can download Coastal Windows & Exteriors’ Winter Ready Home Guide here.