I have been listening to the wind howling for hours. It is gusting at 45-55 miles per hour. We have skipped autumn this year. Two weeks ago we were in the ’80’s and now it is winter. They even predicted some snow on the weather forecast last night. I am hoping they are wrong.
Our heat has been on since the day after our last 80’s day. I think that has been about 2 weeks. We were reviewing the past years electric and gas bills today and we have had a significant increase in the cost. Hubby says the yearly amount has jumped from October 2017 to October 2018 by $250. Most of the increase is a result of how hot our summer was which cost so much more in air conditioning. We are just under $2000. for that year time period. I realize rates have gone up also and now they are telling us that here in western NY, we can expect our winter heating costs to go up about 5% more.
So all of this has me thinking about how you and I can save on our heating costs this winter. I am going to try to hold them down where I can.
We have a programmable thermostat. Hubby has it set for the heat to go down to 65 at night and then back up to 71 in the morning. Hubby gets cold easily so we can’t lower it anymore. This makes it easy because it does it automatically. If you don’t have one, you should get one. You can get one for $ 40. – $ 50. on Amazon.com.
This morning I will dig out our cloth snakes to put up against our outside doors and the basement doors to keep the heat in the house.
Our back door is not as tight as it should be so we will be purchasing a storm door this week and have it installed. That will keep the drafts out and off my back while I am eating at the table.
Hubby changed the furnace filter when he turned the heat on. We will do this monthly.
I have the small heater that plugs in ready for company for one of the guest rooms. Because the windows in that room are almost floor to ceiling, it gets colder than the other rooms. We only run it about once or twice a year for a few days.
We are already keeping most of the shades and blinds closed day and night. The only ones we open are the ones where the sun is brightly shining in. We have shades that have a heat layer inside- like a honeycomb. The shades in the living areas let the light shine in. The room darkening ones in the bedrooms do not let the light in. But in the winter, we rarely open those. It is cheaper to use one LED bulb.
Extra blankets have been put on the beds so that we can be warm at night when the temperature in the house goes down.
All of the baseboard cracks have been resealed and the house has been caulked outside.
We have our supplies ready to make hot chocolate. Our supply of coffee and tea is stocked for the winter. If we catch a chill even when it is 71 in the house, the hot beverages usually warm us up.
I love to bake in this colder weather. So when I have time, I bake quick breads, muffins, donuts, cakes, pies, etc. I turn the oven off a few minutes before they are done. Then when I take my baked goods out of the oven, I leave the door open to let the hot air into the house. I always try to load my oven when I bake or roast meat and then I freeze some of it for the future.
We try to only use our garage door when we go in and out. Less cold air comes into the house that way. The wind doesn’t come into the house. We also stay home more in the winter so there is less opening and closing of doors.
We have our supply of sweaters and sweatshirts at the ready. And all of our throws are near the sofas and chairs in the great room.
We also continue to do whatever we can in the house to use less electricity and natural gas whether that is hot water, lighting, using the dryer less or not at all, running full loads of laundry and or dishes. We continue to use as many small appliances to cook as we can instead of the stove top or oven. If we can fit something to roast or bake for dinner into the toaster oven, we do.
What do you do to save on your winter heating bills?