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November 2022

Get ready to pay more to heat your home this winter

Heating your homeBy Mike Thayer

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, households that heat their homes with natural gas will spend 28% more to do so than they did last year.  Heating oil costs are projected to go up 27%, electricity by 10%, and propane 5%, respectively.

Ouch!

So if you heat your home with natural gas and your average monthly heating bill was $100 last year, you'll pay around $128 a month this year.  Supply constraints coupled with a new $5+ charge tacked onto your monthly bill approved by state regulators (Kansas) were cited as cause for the price hike.

What can you do to keep your heating costs down?

  • Sign up for the Average Payment Plan with your service provider.  Your provider takes a look at your monthly average cost over the last year to determine your bill.  So using that hypothetical monthly heating bill of $100 in the winter, factored in with an average $40 natural gas bill during the warmer months gives you a yearly average of $70 per month.  That's what you'll pay (hypothetically) moving forward.  Having a set monthly amount is much easier to budget for than a surprise $173 heating bill in January because it got super cold out.
  • Turn the temperature of your water heater down.  Typically, a water heater is set at 140 degrees, as in, water too hot to touch once it really gets flowing.  Turning that temp down to 120 degrees (still nice and warm) can save you up to 11% in heating costs.  Reducing the time spent in the shower, turning the washing machine temperature setting from hot/cold to warm/cold or even cold/cold will save you even more.
  • Caulk seals on windows and doors and replace old weather stripping as needed.  Drafts cost you money every month, new weather stripping or one of those plastic window kits don't.
  • Turn your ceiling fan on but change the blade direction.  Running your ceiling fan in a clockwise direction helps to circulate the warm air around the room.
  • Have a professional check your heating system to be sure it's operating at its best.  Change the furnace filter regularly (the furnace has to work harder with a dirty filter) and close the vents in rooms you don't frequent as much.  This will direct more warm air to the rooms you spend the most time in. And of course there's the turn the thermostat down a few degrees and put on a sweater to save money...

TIP:  After taking that hot shower in the morning, don't reach for the exhaust fan switch.  Let that warmth venture out to neighboring spaces.  You'll benefit from the humidity as well. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...