The fall season is officially here and winter will be right around the corner.  If you haven’t had to yet, eventually the cold will set in and heating your home will be inevitable.  Everyone loves a cozy and warm home in the winter, but along with heating comes the reality of the energy costs associated with it.  Here are 10 ways to help you save money heating your home to help keep your energy costs down.

1.) Use a programmable thermostat: Even though your home has a thermostat, make sure you can program it when to come on and go off.   When you depend on a person to regulate the thermostat, human comfort and error will cause you to use more energy. A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust – even when you are away from your home.

2.) Heat your home with zones: If your home is large or multi-story, consider having different heating units for different ‘zones’ or areas of your home.  This will cut down on how long your unit runs, it will also allow you to only heat the areas of your home that is occupied.  If you have a smaller home, and have few occupants that live in the home, this may be a viable option.

3.) Turn down the heat at night: The evening hours are the most expensive time to run your heat due to colder temperatures outside.  Turn down your heat once your family goes to bed, and put heavier blankets on their beds.  Since you are asleep, your body will make its own heat, and therefore will not need as much house heating.

4.) Consider using space heaters: Instead of heating your entire home with a central heating system, use space heaters in individual rooms. Space heaters are less expensive to run and will heat up your space quicker than a central system.  For safety, follow manufacturer’s directions in placing the unit nearby items. Allow at least 3-4ft around the unit as a general rule.

5.) Run ceiling fans in reverse: Ceiling fans are not only for keeping your room cool. Warm air rises and can get trapped at the ceiling level. By turning a ceiling fan to the reverse option will bring the warm air down from the ceiling. For homes with vaulted or high ceilings, this is especially helpful.

6.) Insulate windows and doors: In the winter time, keeping your heat inside your home is the goal. Insulate windows and doors with weather stripping to avoid heat and air infiltration. Check the sweep below your exterior doors to ensure cold air is not entering below the door.  Replace if necessary.

7.) Have your heater system serviced: The efficiency of your heating system is largely due to how well it operates.  Have your heating system serviced by an air conditioning and heating professional annually.

8.) Check your attic insulation: Much of the heat in your home is lost through the ceiling and then through your attic. Ensure that your attic has enough insulation and it is of high quality. R-30 value is recommended and for colder climates R-40 or R-50 should be used.

9.) Let the sun in: During the winter we tend to keep our window treatments closed, open them up to allow sunshine to warm your home. The sunlight will physically and mentally warm your home and your spirits!

10.) Upgrade your appliances: If your appliances are more than 8-10 years old, they could be replaced with more energy efficient models.  Different countries have energy efficiency programs initiated in their area. In the United States, Energy Star appliances have been tested to be 10% more energy efficient than the competition.  Your energy costs are largely determined by how efficiently your appliances use energy. Yes, a no-brainer.

As the colder weather grows near, consider ways to make your home more energy efficient.  Similarly to the summer months, the winter months can mean high energy costs. Use the 10 tips to see a difference in your monthly energy costs. Who knows, you may save money and help the earth at the same time.  Bundle up, and turn your heat down, it will make you and your wallet happier.

Freshome readers what heat saving energy ideas do you have to share?  At my home we actually turn the heat off at night and have it kick back on around 5:00 am so it’s warm when we wake up!