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Regardless of whether your home is heated by natural gas, electric, or radiant systems, cold temperatures and energy price volatility can hurt you financially. However, try some of these ways to lower your heating bills:
Once you have lived in your home for at least a year, you can start to appreciate the differences in usage each season. You can then calculate your average usage per month, and use this value for budgeting. Save any surplus to account for colder months when your expenses tend to be higher.
Budget billing is similar to playing by the average, except that most of the figures are calculated by the business and not by you. Many utility companies provide a budget billing option as a way to help clients handle fluctuations. While every utility has its own specific approach, in general they will average the cost of a year’s worth of use and charge you that amount each month. Keep in mind that at the end of the year, you will still need to pay any amounts owing if you used more energy than the average amount. If you have not budgeted for extra usage or price fluctuations, this extra payment can be hard on your finances. If you use less than the average, some companies may refund the excess, but others may not. Make sure you read your contract to understand the details of your agreement.
Furnace efficiency can be a factor, particularly for furnaces that are 15-years-old or more. If you want to save on heating bills, consider having a heating professional inspect your furnace and ventilation system annually to ensure your systems is operating at its optimal level.
Although some aspects that affect your heating bills may be beyond your control, there are ways you can reduce your usage, and therefore the amount you spend. A few simple yet effective ways include:
Everyone who lives in a colder climate will experience fluctuating energy costs. However, with some basic planning and a little thought, you can take control of your heating bills no matter the temperature.