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Home / Frugality / Energy Saving Tips For Winter: Save 15% on Heating Bills!


Many of you woke up today to see the first frost of the year. Nothing is more depressing than that layer of frozen bad news on the grass. Granted, it can make a beautiful landscape if you take time to drink it in, but it also portends the impending doom of winter and the budget busting bills that come with it. Here are a few inexpensive tips that should help you keep a few extra dollars in your pocket this winter.

Your Furnace

According to research by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), you can save as much as 15 percent on your heating bills by lowering your thermostat by 10 degrees for eight hours a day. The researchers suggest lowering your thermostat as you leave for work. If lowering and raising your thermostat is something you don’t want to do, try installing a programmable thermostat or lowering your current one by two degrees and leaving it there. The DOE says that each degree you lower your thermostat should save you one percent on your winter heating bill.

Change your furnace filter once a month. A dirty filter causes your furnace to work harder and makes it less efficient. I have two washable filters. They were more expensive upfront, but I have been able to clean and reuse them for three years, so I have saved money over the long haul.

Water Heater

Your water heater can account for as much as eighteen percent of your heating costs. You can save some of that money by setting your water heater at 120 degrees. You can also insulate your water heater and water lines. You need to be aware that you should only insulate electric water heaters.

Cracks, Gaps, and Heat Loss

Even the most recently built home can leak heat. Cracks around windows, chimneys, and under doors can cost you hundreds of dollars per year. You can install a door sweep on all exterior doors to block heat loss there. Small cracks around chimneys can be filled with caulk or expanding foam.

Replacing old, leaky windows can cost you thousands of dollars. If you do not have that kind of cash lying around, why not use a bit of shrink wrap? You can buy film that shrinks to fit your windows tightly. Another way to cut heat loss around your windows is to keep the curtains closed. The DOE believes that you can cut heat loss around your windows by ten percent just by keeping the curtains closed when the sun is not shining brightly.

Heat rises. Is your attic insulated properly? If so, is the door to the attic insulated? Check the DOE website ( to find the recommended amount of insulation for your area.

Some parting statistics about the costs of winter heating: heating with natural gas will cost an average household $679 this winter. If you use propane, that will jump to $1,666. Electric heat is estimated to run $909 and heating oil may cost as much as $2,046 this winter season. All good reasons to look for ways to save.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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