Winter brings holiday cheer, cozy clothing, and home-cooked comfort foods, as well as a significant spike in your home heating bill.
The average cost for oil heating your home in the winter is about $1,834. These prices have increased by 28% from the previous year. The sky-high price per gallon is due to a lower inventory and expectations of a much colder winter ahead.
So, now’s the time to make plans for a winter heating budget. This will help to conserve energy and lower your monthly heating bills.
Here’s how to save on oil heat costs this winter.
Ensure Your Home Has Proper Insulation
Home insulation techniques can prevent energy loss and help lower your heat bill. Consider running an audit of your own home to check its energy efficiency.
Conduct a thorough walkthrough to find places lacking proper insulation. These are any areas where heat may be leaking from your home. Pay special attention to basements, attics, windows, and doors.
Gaps between window and door frames can let heat escape. This causes your heating system to run more often and at a higher temperature.
You can fix these leaks with inexpensive caulking or sealant products. Or use weatherstrips or door sweeps to insulate exterior doorways. It also helps to wrap pipes to further protect against freezing temperatures.
Be sure to leave space around your heating vents so heat can push through unobstructed. Avoid blocking them with furniture or large decor items.
You’ll also want to keep any fireplace dampers closed when not in use, as well as the vent in your kitchen.
Stay Cozy and Get Functional with Curtains
Keep in mind that window treatments are not only for looks. Curtains and shades should get used from both a stylish yet functional perspective. Use them to help cut down on energy consumption and high oil bills.
Leave them open to let natural lighting in and help warm the room. Closing them can also seal in heat at night. Letting in fewer drafts from your windows.
A cold-weather in-home wardrobe also helps you use less heat. Turn the thermostat down and get cozy in warm socks, leggings, and sweaters.
This helps reduce the amount of heat loss. The heat will turn on less to maintain the interior temperature of your home.
Create a Home Maintenance Checklist
Before winter hits, make a list of all your home maintenance duties. This helps you to set priorities for what needs to get done first. It will also help to keep track of your budget for winter preparations.
It’s important to get a tune-up for your oil heating system. This allows better performance that can lower oil heating costs and helps check for any possible mechanical issues.
You may even want to consider investing in a new heating system. This is a recommendation for homes with oil heaters that are older than 20 years. Newer models can conserve more fuel and are better for the environment.
The same can get said for updating your water heater to a newer model. Tankless water heaters can cut energy costs in the winter. Or try turning down your water heater during colder months.
Another home maintenance tip is to flip the directional switch on your ceiling fan. Warm air travels up, so you’ll want to turn the fan’s direction clockwise. This forces cold air up towards the ceiling and moves hot air downward.
Be Smart About Oil Tank Replacements
It can also help to get your oil tank filled in the summer. This is when prices tend to be lower due to off-season demand. Or you may want to consider buying oil in bulk to get a discount.
Be sure you’re taking good care of your oil tank during winter months. Keep it clean from snow and ice.
Make sure icicles are not hanging above it as this can cause great damage. Also be sure to get your tank inspected after winter, for any signs of damage.
Plan to Make a Few Home Upgrades
Older homes may be in need of new home upgrades that help to conserve energy. Saving on energy bills is a top reason to move forward with making home improvements. It also increases your home value, should you sell down the road.
Installing new windows can create better insulation within your home. Double-pane windows make a big impact on your oil bill and heating efficiency.
New wall insulation techniques can also further reduce your home’s heat loss. Spray foam insulation keeps your attic walls from losing heat.
Spray foam also gets made of safe and non-toxic ingredients. It can prohibit mold growth and help protect against home fires.
The color of your roof also plays a role in home energy costs. If looking to remodel, you should take this into consideration. Black or dark roofs will absorb heat, reflecting less of the sun’s light.
Having tons of trees on your property can also block out the sun’s heat. You may want to trim back tall trees before winter hits. As their shade can impact the amount of heat your home gets from natural sunlight.
Invest in Innovative Technology
Many homeowners are making the transition to newer and smarter thermostats. Models like Nest and Emerson Sensi can help reduce your oil heating cost. They work to save energy and cut heating costs by 12%.
These smart thermostats turn down during the day when no one is home. They also lower heat settings at night while people are asleep. They can even predict changes in outdoor temperature to make needed adjustments.
It’s important to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Rather than making big temperature changes in your thermostat. A steady temperature loses less fuel.
Increasing Your Home’s Efficiency by Lowering Oil Heat Costs
These techniques will help you better manage your winter heating budget. Through proper home maintenance and upgrades, you’ll experience lower oil heat costs.
A more efficient home is an important responsibility for every homeowner. It helps reduce your carbon footprint and saves more money on energy bills. Here are more tips on being a better energy-efficient homeowner.