We knew natural gas prices were way up but our $80+ November bill both surprised and pleased us.

Surprise:   That’s a high bill for us.

Pleased:   Our efforts at energy efficiency and wise house management kept the bill from being higher.

Nearly everyone can reduce heating costs. Some actions are long-term, like adding insulation, replacing drafty windows, or installing a wood stove. There’s not enough time this year to put these in place this winter.

Here are short term ways to reduce the heating bill at either no, or low, cost:

  • Open south-facing window blinds on sunny days. The sun will warm the room and never send a bill. Close the blind when the sun calls it quits and sets for the day.
  • Caulk holes and cracks. We bought a spool of “rope caulk”. It’s putty that won’t harden, comes in a roll, and is easy to press into cracks, especially around windows.
  • Replace the furnace filter. If it gets clogged with dust the furnace has to work harder, and that costs money. Write on the filter the date you replace it so you know. Then, make a note on your planner to check and replace. Some furnaces also send alerts to change a filter.
  • Wear comfy sweaters and socks and set the thermostat down a few degrees. We often nestle under a blanket or throw when watching tv or reading in the evening.

It’s going to be an expensive heating winter, but taking a few simple efficiency steps will remove some of the monthly bill’s sting.

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