7 Ways To Keep Your Home Heating Bill Low During Inflation

Electric bill charges paper form on the table.
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Across the nation, families are dealing with a winter that isn’t only be freezing and filled with rain and snow but is also expensive. The Department of Energy projected steep spikes for home heating compared with last winter. Already we’re seeing the effects: The price of piped gas is up 33.1% from this time last year.  

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Fortunately, there are some ways to save without sacrificing a cozy environment. Here’s a look at seven ways to keep your home heating bill low during inflation. 

Use Insulating Curtains 

“Windows are one of the areas where homes tend to lose the most heat; so, by using insulated curtains and keeping them closed, you can help to keep heat in and prevent too much of it from leaking out,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “It can be especially helpful at night when it’s colder and you need to help trap heat in order to sleep comfortably. Between insulating curtains and enough blankets on the bed, you may be able to get away with setting your heat lower or even skipping it at night altogether, depending on how low the temperature is in your area.”

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Take Advantage of Natural Light

“If you’re fortunate enough to have an area of your home that receives direct sunlight, this is a good way to heat up at least part of the house,” Ramhold said. “Open the curtains — preferably the insulating ones mentioned above — and let the natural sunlight heat up your home when it’s most direct. Then close the curtains to help keep the heat in and lower your heating usage.”

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Let Appliances Pull Double Duty

“This is especially helpful in smaller homes, where you can warm things up just by using the oven or dryer, for instance,” Ramhold said. “Leave relevant doors open and turn ceiling fans on to help disperse the heated air, and you may be able to crank the heating system lower in general.” 

Install a Smart Thermostat

“These are really useful for not just regulating your utility usage but also seeing developing trends,” Ramhold said. “For instance, maybe you use the heat more in the morning when you’re first getting ready for the day — by using a smart thermostat, you can actually set your system to come on at a particular time and heat up your home before you’re ready to get up.

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“Will you be out of the house all day? You can set the system to turn on shortly before you’re set to arrive home so that you aren’t freezing when you get home as well. But, in between, have the thermostat set lower in order to save on costs.” 

Look for Energy-Efficient Heaters

“If you’re in a small home, it may be worth looking for energy-efficient heaters to use instead of the overall heating system,” Ramhold said. “For example, you can put these into certain rooms to ensure the important spots are warm enough, and rest easy knowing that many modern heaters — especially those that are energy efficient — have auto shutoff settings based on time and on whether or not the unit has tipped over. It’s still best not to leave them unattended, but these kinds of measures should make you feel better about leaving a heater on overnight in a kids’ room, for example.”

Insulate Cracks

“While heat leaks out of windows, doors are also another source of drafts, so it’s worth your time to insulate them,” Ramhold said. “This doesn’t mean you have to buy an entirely new door either. You can pick up insulating strips for pretty affordable prices at any home improvement store — just make sure you get the right thickness. Then, apply it to your door and you should be able to stand in front of it to tell a noticeable difference.

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“Over time, you should see a decrease in your utility bills if the door was a major source of heat leakage as well, as the interior temperature of your home should be more consistent. A bonus is that these strips often also insulate against noise, so you may even be able to block out noisy neighbors by using these products.”

Be Strategic With Your Doors

“If you have a lot of interior doors, be sure to open or close them when it makes the most sense to,” Ramhold said. “For instance, at night, you may want to close your bedroom door in order to keep the heat inside; but, during the day, you may want to open the door to your laundry room if you’ll be running the dryer, or any kitchen doors to help disperse heat from using appliances throughout the home.” 

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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