It’s finally starting to get really cold here and we’ve now had a couple of snowy days. It’s crazy to think about because in the beginning of December, it was around 80 degrees and people were wearing shorts! With the colder days of course comes the higher cost in staying warm.

Before last year, we never focused on how high our heating bills were. Sometimes they were $400 a month, but as of last year they were at around $150 to $200 per month. ┬áDefinitely an improvement, but we would like them even lower of course. How much are your monthly heat bills? Hopefully lower right? ­čÖé

Below are some ways to lower your heat bill that you could do:

1. Turn the thermostat down.

Of course this would be my first tip! Having your heat at 80 degrees will make your heating bill substantially higher than if it were set at only 70 degrees. We have our heat set between 72 and 73 degrees, but I know of many people who set it at 68 degrees and say this is perfect. We would do this but I’m cold with it set at 72 degrees and I’m always wearing pants, a sweater and everything else.

A couple of degrees difference can make a pretty large difference in how much your heating bill will be, so be wise! Also, you can buy a programmable thermostat which will allow you to set the temperature at different degrees at different times during the day (such as when you are at work or when you are sleeping).

However, don’t turn it down so much as to where you increase it substantially later so that you can get warm again just a couple of minutes or even an hour later. You are most likely making your furnace work extra hard, which could actually increase your heating bill more than you would like.

2. Bundle up!

Walking around in shorts and a tank top will most likely make you feel cold no matter what you set your heat at. Wear extra layers so that you can possibly set your heat a little lower and thus save more money.

3. Close certain vents.

Close the vents in rooms that you do not use. We almost always keep the vents in our guest bedroom closed unless we have people over who will be sleeping in there. If you do decide to close vents in your house, make sure to not close more than 15% of the vents in your house. If you do, then you will most likely make your furnace work harder (as said earlier above).

4. Block any drafts that may be coming in.

There are probably a couple of areas in your house where cold air from the outside is coming in. Check windows and doors in your house to see if there’s a gap (such as under a door) or see if there is air seeping in through a window. You can buy something to fill in the gaps that will block out the cold weather such as fabric door covers that will attach to the bottom of your door.

In our house, a TON of cold air comes from underneath our back door since there is a gap. We have been really needing to get a door sweep for it.

What do you do to save money on your heating bill in the colder weather?



Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.