It’s been another great summer, but already there is a smell in the air that the cold Kentucky winter will be on us before we know it. The kids might be looking forward to Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas snow days and all the rest of it, but many of us can’t help feeling a degree of dread.
As well as the costs of the holiday season, there is the increased financial pressure of keeping the weather at bay and the house warm and comfortable in the colder months.
It might still seem a while off, but by being prepared and thinking ahead, you can really save some money when the time comes. Here’s how.
Maintain your heating system
Whether you use oil, natural gas or a wood furnace, your system will work better and run more efficiently if it is properly maintained. Schedule a maintenance inspection now, before the engineers get booked up when the weather starts getting cold. We have all heard horror stories of a boiler breaking down on the coldest day of the year, or even worse right on Thanksgiving of Christmas – don’t let it happen to you.
Supply and demand is one of the basic rules of economics. Right now, the weather is still warm, and heating fuel is in low demand. If your system runs on oil, you can get a better price from a company like Super Saver Oil today than if you leave it till November or December, so top up early to save some money. The same applies for systems that run on wood and pellets. The other great thing about stocking up now is that you will know that is one expense you don’t have to worry about later.
Cover up those drafts
When you are spending money generating heat, the last thing you want is for it to be leaking straight out under the doors and through the windows. We can’t all afford to splurge on the latest super-efficient glazing, so if yours is a little past its best, consider using a heavy duty, clear plastic sheet on a wooden frame as extra insulation. Alternatively, you can tape clear plastic film onto the inside of the window frames during the coldest months. Ensure the plastic is really sealed in tightly against the frame to make it as effective as possible.
Drapes and shutters
While we are looking at the windows, don’t forget the importance of using drapes and shutters effectively. They provide excellent insulation during those cold winter nights. But remember to throw them open during daylight hours, to get the full benefit of the heat and light from the sun.
Turn down the heat
You don’t need to have the thermostat as high as you might think, and if you have a programmable thermostat, this can really save you some dollars. Set the heating at a lower temperature during the night, and then have it warm the house up 30 minutes before people get up – this alone could reduce your winter heating costs by 10 percent.