• Tips to Save on Heating Costs

  • by Kristen Curzytek

For many people across the country living in chilly climates and dealing with heating costs can be dreadful. The average American household spends $2,200 a year on home energy bills. Your energy bills don’t need to be that high. With a few quick and easy repairs you can cut the cost of your energy bills significantly. Not sure how you can pay for repairs you need to make around your home? A reverse mortgage can give you the money you need to make repairs and to make your retirement much easier. You can even use the money to pay for your monthly heating costs.

Here are a few things you can do around your home to save money on your monthly heating bills and keep you warm and cozy through the cold winter months.

Leaky windows
Leaky windows are the biggest culprit when it comes to losing heat from your home. Windows can be an easy fix with a little caulking. Either seal the entire window or do spots where the window is leaking air. Another item that helps reduce air leaking is shrink wrap kits. The kits include big pieces of sandwich wrap that cover your whole window and tape to the sides. Most kits are less than $10 each and fit nearly all windows. If your windows are really old it may be time to replace them. Newer windows are triple pane; they keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. New windows will have new seals with will last a long time.

Drafts
Window air conditioning units can leak tons of air if not properly installed. Since it is the winter time, it is best to remove the unit from the window so the window can be closed. Another area of the home that can have drafts is the fireplace. Make sure to block the fireplace when not in use. There are many items you can use to block the fireplace when it is not in use. If you do use your fireplace a lot the best option is to get a chimney top damper. A top damper seals the fireplace better than a regular damper.

Programmable thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat helps to keep your home on a regular heating schedule and can reduce your heating costs. You can set the heat to be lower when you’re not at home and at night when you’re asleep. Dropping the temperature a few degrees just at night can save you money on your heating bill.

Weatherproofing your pipes
Plumbing issues in the winter months can be a disaster. Have a professional come in and take a look at your plumbing to avoid a problem in the dead of winter. A professional will come to your home and check for leaks or damaged pipes. One of the secrets that I learned while living in a cold weather city during the winter was to keep my faucets turned slightly on (to a dripping level) so that the pipes do not freeze overnight.

Insulate your attic
One of the places your home is losing heat the quickest is through your attic. Most homes that are over 15 years old did not have energy efficiency in mind when they were built, so many houses are missing insulation. Many homes do not have enough to help keep heat in which can cost you money. The easiest way to see if you need to have insulation in your attic is peek into your attic, if you can see the floor joists you should get insulation.

Maintenance check on furnace
One of the most important items to have checked for the winter months is your furnace. It is important to have your furnace inspected at least once a year. There is nothing worse than having to need your furnace and it is not working. Plus a professional can come out to check and see if your furnace is running efficiently. If it is not, your heating professional will let you know a replacement that can be done to help improve how your furnace runs. That will help cut down on heating costs!

Most of these things are quick and simple to have fixed or updated and you can save a lot of money in the long run. As a senior 62 and older you don’t have to worry about paying for these kinds of repairs. You can afford these essential repairs with a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage can help cover the repairs and can give you funds to do other things as well. Call one of our licensed bankers today at (800)442-6828. They can answer any questions you may have about a reverse mortgage and they can explain how easy the process is.