Saving on Your Winter Heating Bill Tips pt 1

Hey everyone! As we are in the winter season, I wanted to share some things that I have been doing for many years to save on my heating bill during the winter months. As I mentioned in an earlier post about air conditioning, I refuse to give the utility companies any more than necessary.

Here we go:

1) Weather strip around doors, windows etc. Place heavy curtains and/or layers of curtains on windows.

We want to keep all that heat you are paying for inside the house and you’ll want to do this to your interior doors as well. In another post I’ll talk a bit about what I’ve done to the bottom of my interior doors.

2) Start training your body by setting the thermostat a few degrees lower than you’ve been accustomed to, going even lower on days when there is a warm spell.

thermostat

thermostat (Photo credit: Joelk75)

3) Dress in winter clothing ie sweaters, long johns, etc and in layers.

That should be common  sense right? However, I hear folks complain about how high their heating bills are, saying that the gas/electric company will charge you whatever they want to charge you. Yet when observing them at home, they are walking around in short sleeves, tank tops, shorts with the thermostat set on 80-85 degrees or higher.  Really?!!

Yeah it sounds like I’m criticizing but it makes no cents (pun intended) to have the house like it’s summer in the winter and winter in the summer. Of course it’s your choice but don’t complain about it when the bill comes each month.

Now I grew up in a cold area of the country. The first place was old apartment building that was probably built around the 1920’s or 1930’s with those cast iron radiators

An old-style household radiator.

An old-style household radiator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and before each individual apartment had thermostats. You knew when it was 10:00 pm without looking at a clock because you would hear a hissing sound indicating that the heat was being turned waayy down. Take a bath at 11:00 pm or after if you want to…I guarantee it would be a fast one and the last one ‘cuz you’ll be freezing your behind off.  I can also guarantee you that the temperature was set not high enough for you to be able to walk around in short sleeves or just one layer of clothing during the day/evening either.

A few years later my folks bought a two flat apartment building. We lived in one apartment and rented out the other one. It was a bit newer than the apartment where I spent my 0-12 years of age I think, but still old because there was only one boiler/furnace to heat both apartments so of course the thermostat was in our place.  I almost forgot, it had radiators too. The furnace was a huge oil unit located in the basement and looked like something that would reach out and grab you if you got too close. You could look through the window on the front and see the flames/oil burning. Honestly, it was scary! lol

Anywhoo…my father would have the heating oil company come out and fill the two large tanks in July or August as it was cheaper to do it in the summer months. I mentioned before, I grew up in a cold part of the country which means the winters are long. Much longer and colder than where I currently live.  That oil had to last us and our tenant ALL winter. If the oil company had to come out during the winter, you’d pay almost double for each gallon of oil. If you read one of my How I Got Outta Debt posts, you’ll remember that money was tight…very tight. My father had a major heart attack just 2 months after he bought the place. So there was no dressing like it was summer time in the house in the winter…unless you wanted to shake what yo momma gave you.  I’m not talking about dancing either, though that is a great way to stay warm.

I told those stories because I’m not telling you to do something that I have not done or experienced myself. I still dress in layers including wearing more than one pair of socks on my feet while inside my home in the winter and I’ve been out of my parents house living on my own for almost 30 years. I even wear something on my head most days. Now that my hair is on my back, I feel warmer than I did in the early days of my locs so now I’ve got that added warmth. Back then, I had something on my head everyday during the winter/early spring months.

The less clothes you have on your body, the colder you are going to feel. The colder you feel,  the more apt you are to crank up the thermostat.  It’s much, much cheaper to put more clothing on.

Which brings me to the statement that I hear a lot… “They are gonna charge you what they want to”. This is true but only part of the statement is true. Yes, while they do have control of the rate of each kilowatt, cubic foot, gallon whatever you are being charged, YOU have control of how much you use/waste. The more you use, the more you’re going to pay.

4) If you are just watching TV, reading, on the computer, etc use a blanket, throw or something over your legs. Snuggies are really nice for this.  And, yes this is addition to your layers.

English: A woman models her Snuggie.

English: A woman models her Snuggie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Again, much cheaper to do things like this to make you feel warm. If you feel warm, you are less likely to want to crank up the thermostat. The lower the thermostat setting, the less money you will be charged and therefore have to pay. Yeah ,I know I said that already but we learn by repetition right?!

I’ll cover more in the next post.