Saving Money Blog

Finance Blogs » Saving Money Blog » 12 ways to lower heating bills

12 ways to lower heating bills

By Paula Pant ·
Monday, October 21, 2013
Posted: 12 pm ET

The weather is turning colder in most parts of the U.S., which means many Americans are firing up their heaters for the first time.

Home heating can be expensive. Here are some tips that can help you save money.

  1. Caulk and weatherstrip around your windows and doors. This prevents cold air from seeping into your home. A tube of caulk and a roll of weatherstripping cost less than $5 each at big-box hardware stores.
  2. Clean your warm-air registers and baseboard heaters. This allows heat to more effectively pass through.
  3. Move your furniture away from exterior walls and windows. These are the coldest areas of the house. You'll feel warmer when you sit toward the middle of the home.
  4. Insulate your attic, crawl space and walls. Insulation can be expensive, but the cost savings over time generally will make it a worthwhile investment.
  5. Clean your furnace filter monthly. This allows hot air to more effectively pass through.
  6. Open the curtains on the south-facing side of your home during the daytime. This lets natural sunlight warm your home. Close these curtains at night to keep the cold out.
  7. Cover your water heater with an insulated "jacket." That way, it won't need to work as hard. This costs about $20 from a major hardware store.
  8. Turn your thermostat down a few degrees. Tap your frugal instincts and adjust to living in a colder home. Wear a wool hat indoors, which will help you retain body heat.
  9. Wrap a heating pad or heating blanket around yourself if you're alone. This is more cost-effective than heating the entire house for the sake of warming one person.
  10. Use a thick comforter at night. That way, you won't have to heat the house as much while you sleep.
  11. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees, and install low-flow aerators on your faucets. This will lower both your water-heating costs and your overall water bill.
  12. Close your fireplace damper when the fireplace isn't in use. This prevents cold air from seeping into your home.

Paula Pant blogs at about building wealth and living life on your own terms. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental units that produce thousands in passive income, and runs an online marketing and freelance writing company. Follow Paula on Twitter: @AffordAnything.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
w f davis
November 02, 2013 at 8:28 am


November 02, 2013 at 8:18 am

Good saving point thank you for sharing.

November 02, 2013 at 12:07 am

I had never heard of used bubble wrap for window insulation, we had always used the thin plastic film that tightens with the blow dryer. Is there a video out there that I can see how it goes on?

Dan Hobaugh
November 01, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I purchased a inferred heater and it cut my bill more than half.

November 01, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I have a lot of Bubble wrap for packing. can i just put doubleface tape on it or does the wrap comes with the tape ready to install??

November 01, 2013 at 8:58 pm

We put Bubble wrap with double sided tape. You can get 250 feet at a home depot type of place for about 25 dollars. We found in our 450 squ feet duplex it saved 45 to 50 dollars a month. Plus it still lets light in and no body can see in. It also helps in the hot summer months but not as much.

lucky duke
October 30, 2013 at 7:38 pm

vote out all the senators. and put in people who wont steal our belongs to us not them thay are lineing thier pockets.thay could care less about us staying warm.lets get real about itttttt okkkkk

October 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Last fall we covered our attic fan opening in our hallway with a thick foam cover held on with velcro bought at Home Depo and sold just for that. It made a big difference in our heating bill last year. Now we don't loose heat out the attic fan vent. I wish we would have discovered that fix years ago. In the summer if we want to use the fan we just remove the velcrowed cover and replace it when it gets cold again. Its easy to cut to your size and install.

October 29, 2013 at 11:53 am

I just read your tips on saving money on heating bills. This article was just what I needed. I already bought the caulk for windows, the "coat" for the hot water heater does this come in one size fits all?

October 24, 2013 at 2:58 am

In southeast tennessee.
We have turned off the water heater after all showers kitchen duties etc are done.This acually saves us 20 to 30 a month. Some folks may not realize it but water drops a few degrees the heaters kick in to maintain hot water. but if you shut of water heater ,. You can still take another shower without reheating the tank