Three Habits That Lead To Lower Heating Bills This Winter

Your furnace becomes a valuable ally during the winter months, but excessive use of this heating system can have you breaking out in a sweat when your monthly bill arrives. By keeping a number of cost-effective habits in mind, however, you'll have no reason to fret when it comes time to pay your heating bill. Keeping your heating costs low by being smart about your furnace usage involves more than just turning down the unit and throwing an extra sweater on. By adopting these strategies, you'll run your furnace less and still keep warm and cozy inside your home. Here's what you can do.

Skip The Use Of Vent Fans

The fan in your bathroom reduces the steam after a shower while the fan atop your stove gets rid of unwanted smoke from the cooking process. While each of these fans has value, the problem during the winter months is that they both vent hot air from inside your home directly outside. Ceasing the use of these fans -- within reason, as some cooking projects certainly create a lot of smoke -- allows you to keep the temperature inside your home warmer, which will prevent you from having to run your furnace longer than necessary. Adopt this simple habit and you'll be saving money.

Close Your Fireplace Flue

Using a fireplace is one of the best ways to decrease the use of your furnace and save money. If your fireplace is mainly decorative, however, it can allow the hot air from inside your home to escape, which means your furnace will be running excessively. Fix this issue by closing the fireplace flue -- you can check your manual about how to specifically perform this simple task. Doing so prevents hot air from escaping up the chimney and cold exterior air from drifting down into your home. When you wish to build a fire, simply open the flue back up. In the meantime, your home will be cozier without excessive use of the furnace.

Use Space Heaters

Space heaters draw less power than your furnace, so if you plan on spending a long period of time in one room, consider using a space heater and turning down your furnace. Space heaters are available in a variety of styles, and many even have fans or an oscillating motion that can keep you warm. Whether you're hunkered in the den for a movie or are in the living room with friends, a space heater in the area can help you use your furnace less.