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How to Save Money on Heating


I don’t know about you, but the last oil bill I received for the 2021/2022 heating season was more than double the one before it. I gaped at it, thinking it was certainly a one-time thing. Alas, it was not. Prices are still high, and my latest bill is again more than double what I used to pay for the same amount of oil. There is no doubt this is going to be an expensive winter. As a result, I’ve been scouring the internet for cheap and simple ways to reduce heating costs. If you’re feeling the pinch as well, check out these ideas. Some of them are unique!


Homes can lose a lot of heat through the windows. Curtains won’t solve the issue, but they can minimize heat loss. How much you spend on this heat-saving measure will depend on how many windows you have, what type of curtains you buy, and where you buy them. You’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits as you make this choice. If you have one or two particularly problematic windows, you may want to focus on those in the meantime. The good news is that thrift shops often carry a decent selection, and you can always peruse the options in online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. This article offers some other ideas that will help you find low-cost options.


Speaking of curtains. If you’re hanging them, make sure they’re open on sunny days to let in the warm sunlight. Solar heat is free, and you can optimize it by decorating the room in darker, heat-absorbing colors. As the light fades, you’ll want to shut them again to keep in that wonderful heat.


Rugs are a terrific way to warm a room and they offer the added benefit of being comfortable against your feet. Wall-to-wall isn’t necessary. A simple throw rug can make a world of difference on a chilly winter night. Again, the cost of this measure will vary depending on your tastes, the type of rug you get, and where you get it. If you shop at a high-end store, you could spend thousands. As with curtains, check out online marketplaces and chances are you’ll have plenty of options in the free to fifty-dollar range.


I’ve heard this piece of advice over and over again. Nearly every article mentions it because it’s inexpensive and effective. It can also make your home more comfortable to return to in the winter. Programmable thermostats seem to cost, on average, somewhere between $100 and $200. Installation costs will depend on your electrician but if you’re feeling brave, you may be able to do the installation on your own.


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Do you use your microwave a lot? If so, consider switching to the stove top/oven during the winter. The heat generated by your range will lend to the overall warmth of your home. And it’s a win-win because your food will also taste better! If you have an electric or induction range, skip this one!


I’ve never been a fan of this option because I am an open-door policy type of person, but if you have unused rooms that are a waste of good heat, you can save energy but lowering the thermostat for that room only (if possible), close the door, and use a draft stopper to prevent the escape of warm air. If the room is in a heating zone that includes higher-traffic rooms, this may not be an option.


I know it’s obvious, but it needs to be on the list. Turning up the heat isn’t your only option if you’re cold. You can wear more, and you can use more blankets. Though fabrics have come a long way, some of the best options have been around forever. For instance, a silk layer beneath your regular clothing can be a great, low-bulk way to stay warm. Wool is still one of the most effective materials in the fight against winter chill (it’s also all-natural, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic). Faux fur, as well as real fur, is also noted to be quite warm and, of course, flannel. Warm-weather clothing can be expensive, but you can find plenty of warm, inexpensive clothing at your nearest thrift store. I’ve filled my closet with a toasty wardrobe for under $30 before.


This is a compelling idea that I haven’t tried before, so it’s next on my list. Air moves in currents, and your furniture has much to do with where it moves and how naturally it flows through your home. If you have furniture blocking a register, the air may be pushed upward rather than around the room, where it can keep you warm. By moving your furniture with airflow in mind, you can make the most of all the heat entering the room. If you’re feeling enthusiastic about it, you could install shelving above your registers to force the heat out into the room before it floats upward.


I’m throwing this one in here because this is the type of thing that works for my type-A, goal-motivated personality. If I set a goal of shaving fifty bucks off my energy bill, it becomes a challenge I can’t resist. It then continues to play in the back of my mind, so I remember to open the curtains on sunny days, hold back from clicking the thermostat up a notch, and throw an extra blanket on my bed. It spurs creativity too, so I inevitably find other opportunities for saving money that I hadn’t thought of or read about before.



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About Heidi White

Heidi White is a content writer with eight years of experience in the credit union industry. She is passionate about creating timely and useful content that inspires people to take daily, conscious steps toward more joyful lives. Heidi lives in Barre, Vermont.

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