Call a chimney sweep for an inspection if you haven't used your fireplace in a year or more.

Call a chimney sweep for an inspection if you haven't used your fireplace in a year or more.

Winter Energy Saving Tips


The Furnace 

Heating is by far one of our biggest energy expenses. It costs the average low-income family around $482 a year. So, to save on heating costs:

  • Turn your thermostat down five degrees. Each degree you lower will save about 2%. That’s about $48 on a $482 heating bill if you try it all day. You can also install an automatic thermostat to adjust the temperature when you're not home. It will do the work for you!
  • Have a professional tune up and inspect your furnace once a year. This can save you up to 10% on your heating costs.
  • If you have forced air heat, clean the filter each month.
  • If you have hot water or steam heat, check the water level. A furnace dealer can tell you how to add more water. You can also ask the dealer for more tips to make your system work more efficiently.
  • Clean the area around your furnace. This lessens the chance of fire and improves airflow.
  • Make sure heat can get into each room by moving furniture and drapes from blocking radiators, heating registers and return vents.

Other Winter Tips:

  • Use drapes. Where windows face the sun, keep drapes open in the day, but close all drapes at night. Keeping shades drawn and drapes closed will make the room more comfortable without any increase in energy use. By reducing the chill from cold windows and reducing drafts, you’ll reduce heating costs.
  • Repair windows. Even a crack drives fuel bills up. Got a loose window? Install weather stripping to help keep cold air out of the house.
  • Install storm windows and remember to close them once winter begins. They improve the comfort of the room and pay for themselves by keeping cold air out.
  • Close storm doors. Seal air leaks by caulking and weather stripping doors. That keeps heat in and heating costs down.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Use it to automatically control the heat when you are not home and overnight while you are sleeping. Setting it to turn down the heat when you’re under the covers can cut heating costs.

Curbing Fireplace Costs:

  • Buy “seasoned” wood. That means wood that has been allowed to dry out. Freshly cut wood has too much moisture to burn well and will create smoke.
  • Use the dampers. Keep the damper on your stove closed when you aren’t using the fireplace. This can reduce cold air drafts.
  • Reducing heat loss. Open dampers in the bottom of the firebox, slightly open the nearest window, close doors leading to the room with your fireplace, and lower the thermostat to between 50 and 55 degrees when the fire is lit.
  • Haven’t used your fireplace in over a year? Call a chimney sweep for an inspection and make all repairs before using it again.

Last updated January 3, 2017