Your Missoula heating bill is nothing to sneeze at! It’s going to be another cold one and soon you’ll be cranking up the heat. You can dramatically lower the cost of your utility bills with some basic home repairs and preventative HVAC maintenance.
1. Re-seal all of those cracks and crevices
Stop the heat from escaping through walls and ceilings and all of those other cracks and crevices. There are many easy adjustments that will make your home winter-ready. Utility bills often skyrocket in the winter (and summer) months, but it’s not always the energy company’s fault. Instead of throwing money away on a high Missoula heating bill, take action to prep your home and heat your space more efficiently this winter.
Here a few of the basic things you can do to lower your Missoula heating bill:
- Replace old or torn weather stripping around your doors and windows
- Adjust your door thresholds if there’s a gap for air to escape
- Use acrylic latex caulk or foam sealant to fill cracks in your walls or ceilings
- Fill the open gaps behind your electrical outlet plates
- Plug up holes with expanding foam
- Cover all windows with clear plastic insulating film
- Reinforce the insulation around attic doors and walls
- Check your ductwork for air leaks
These home repairs are simple and cheap if you know what you’re doing. Garden City Plumbing & Heating has conducted hundreds of Whole Home Energy Audits in the Missoula area. Their technicians can inspect and assess homes, identify the problem areas, and they can also do the repair work for you. They can make your home winter-ready. This is an easy, safe, and affordable way to reinforce your home and lower that Missoula heating bill!
2. Keep the doors and windows shut
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have kids at home, it’s worth keeping an eye on the doors and windows. If the doors get opened a lot with kids or dogs running in and out, it will hike up your Missoula heating bill as your system works harder to warm your home. From an energy efficient new construction standpoint, it’s wise to have an enclosed foyer with a double set of doors for this reason.
Beyond keeping doors and windows shut, locking them is even better. Using the locks will give your doors and windows a much tighter seal. It’s a good practice to lock everything up as soon as your family is home for the night, especially because the outer edges can freeze on the brisk Montana evenings.
3. Change the rotation of your fan blades
This is a simple, non-obvious way to make the most out of your heat! Reverse the ceiling fans so that the blades can blow that warm air back down to your living space. All basic ceiling fan models have a switch on them to adjust the direction. It’s a little-known trick but very effective. Heat rises, so keeping your reverse-set fan on low power during the day will keep warm air recirculating down to your space.
4. Schedule an HVAC check up
Have your furnace or heating system inspected for issues before the cold weather arrives. Routine maintenance is key to saving money on repairs, lowering your utility bill, and eliminating the need for pricey emergency service. Any experienced HVAC technician can do a pre-winter checkup to clean your vents, check your ductwork, test the system, and make sure everything is in working order.
5. Adjust for a cooler environment
Everyone knows that lifestyle has an impact on your utility bills. If you want to save money on your Missoula heating bill this winter, give your body a chance to adapt to cooler weather. Dress accordingly and adjust your comfort level for the lower temps. Start wearing socks and sweaters at home when the weather starts to change and you will get used to the cooler environment. Insulating yourself will help you to stay warm without feeling the need to turn the thermostat all of the way up.
6. Get an ultra smart thermostat
If you’d rather not wear warmer layers of clothing at home, you can still adjust the temps to reduce utility costs. The best option is to upgrade your heating system to use smart technology, so you can set it and forget it. Like an alarm clock, your thermostat can be set to raise and lower at certain times of the day. This is a great way to save money when you’re away from home, but still come home to a cozy house. It’s also nice for sleeping in a cooler house but waking up to a warm bedroom. The premium HVAC brands offer ultra smart thermostats like iComfort® S30 and customers are really warming up to new features like Schedule IQ and SmartAway.
7. Use zone-controlled heating
If your HVAC unit is ready to be replaced, consider moving to a zone-controlled heating system. It’s far more cost effective to heat specific areas of your home instead of filling every room with heat all at once. If you don’t have the budget to overhaul your heating system right now, you can also use zone-controlled heating by investing in space heaters and turning your thermostat down.
8. Fire up the fireplace and chimney
Do you have a fireplace? That’s a wonderful way to warm your living space up without sending your Missoula heating bill through the roof! Before using your fireplace for the first time this season, it’s highly recommended to clean the fireplace and chimney first. Have the damper checked to make sure everything is tightly fitted. Also, there are inflatable chimney “plugs” and insulating flue blockers that you can buy to keep warm air in and hot air out when your fireplace is not in use.
9. Take advantage of solar energy
When it comes to heating up your home, the sun is your best friend! Take a few minutes to open all of your blinds and curtains first thing in the morning and let your home soak up the sunlight all day. Naturally, it will cost less to heat your home during the day and some warmth will last well into the night if your home is properly insulated.
Solar panels are another option if you’re looking for a long-term way to lower your Missoula heating bill. Residential solar panels are a growing trend and customers are saving a ton of money as a result. You’ll find several companies in the area to install your solar panels. This is a wonderful investment for homeowners and also for business owners. There are different ways to handle the energy application and the financing, but the general consensus is that solar panels dramatically reduce energy costs for residential and commercial heating.
Don’t sweat your Missoula heating bill anymore!
With some preventative DIY work, smart planning, and help from a local Missoula heating contractor, you can stop sweating the cost of those utility bills. Do the work now and adjust your household habits. Little things add up and you have many options to make your home more winter-ready. Work your way down this list and you will save money on your Missoula heating bill this winter!