How to Save Money » Frugal Living

Top 15 Ways to Save Money on Heating Your House

During another cold winter, your top priority is keeping warm on those long, frosty days, and the even longer frosty nights. However, when your power bill comes, to reveal just how much you actually spent heating your home over winter, it can be enough to make you go cold all over, all over again.

Instead, use these 15 simple home heating tips next winter to ward off the winter chills, and keep the power bills at bay. Below are 15 quick and easy ways you can save on heating your house through winter, and they won’t cost a cent to implement in your home.

1. Let in the Light

You might not associate winter with warm sunshine, but even a little bit of light can take the bite out of the cold in your home. Winter sunshine is golden and so get into the habit of opening the curtains in every room of your house during the day to let in the sunlight. Plus, where the sunshine comes streaming through the window is the perfect place to retreat with a book or a cup of coffee.

2. Adjust Window Hangings to Your Winter

Depending on which part of the country you live in, you may experience blistering hot summers and mild winters, or you may shiver through freezing winters and enjoy pleasantly warm summers. Whatever your situation, make sure your curtains reflect your seasons. For example if you battle with hot summers you’re likely to have thick curtains to block out the sun, therefore make sure that in winter you take down your heavy window hangings to let the winter sun inside. Or if you enjoy mild summers and have light summer curtains to let in the balmy breezes, swap them out for thicker curtains in the winter to keep in the warmth.

3. Close Your Doors When Heating

In the warmer weather you may get into the habit of leaving your doors open and just closing your screen door to let fresh air into your home. Or perhaps the doors in your home are often left open to let pets in and out, or because absent-minded children are always leaving them open. Well winter is the time to be vigilant about keeping all external door closed when trying to heat your home. Not only will open doors let the warmth of your heater right out again, but will also let all that cold air inside.

4. Close Your Windows When Heating

As you make a check of your doors before turning the heater on this winter, check the windows as you go too because even a slightly ajar window can suck all that warm air away, while creating an unpleasant cold draught.

5. Selective Ducted Heating

If you have a ducted heating and cooling system in your home, then there is likely to be a vent in each room, and one in the hallways and entryway. Well, if some of the rooms in your home are unoccupied when you turn the heating on – the spare room, or your daughter’s room while she’s having a sleepover – go in and close the vent to that duct to avoid heating unoccupied space.

6. Close the Doors to Unoccupied Rooms

Once you have closed off the vents in any unoccupied spaces, close the door on your way you too, there is no point in sending warm air into a room you’re not using. Closing the bathroom, laundry and toilet doors is especially important in winter as these are the draughtiest rooms and will steal a lot of your heat if their doors are left open.

7. Layer Up Your Clothing

Of course the best way to save on the cost of running your heating system is to not run it at all. Instead put on an extra jumper or too, some woolly socks and even put a rug around you while you watch TV and once you’re rugged up, then decide if you’re still cold enough to warrant the heater. Chances are, you’ll forget all about the heater and be as snug as a bug without it.

8. Layer Up Your Bedding

There is nothing worse than being woken up by the cold in the middle of the night. To combat this, many people sleep with their heating running through the night. Instead, add a few extra blankets to your bed and make sure they’re not going to fall off in the night; you may even decide to leave your woolly socks on. In a cozy and warm bed, you won’t need to leave the heater running during the night.

9. Close the Fireplace When Not in Use

When your fireplace is not warming your home, you can be sure it is cooling it. When not in use your fireplace is simply another way for cold air to enter your home. Therefore, close the glass door on your fireplace when you’re not using it.

10. Turn the Heat Down or Off at Night

If you’re already layered up in warm clothing and extra blankets, you should be able to turn the heat right down or even off when you go to bed and still keep warm during the night. If you have a programmable heating thermostat, remember to program it to turn off, or down at night so you don’t have to worry about remembering.

11. Turn the Heat Down or off When You Leave Home

If you are heading out of the house to run an errand or pick up the kids from school you want the house to be warm when you return, and for it to be somewhere warm and dry for your family to come home to. However, this doesn’t mean the heating needs to stay at the same level as when you’re home and you can turn your thermostat right down and keep the chill out of the air for when you return.

12. Turn the Heat Down or off When You’re at Work

If your house is going to stand empty all day while you are at work and the kids are at school, why would you pay to heat an empty house? Unless you’ve left pets at home and the weather is so incredibly frosty that your pets will greet you with frostbitten tails when you return, program your heating system to turn off during the day, during the week. You can even program your heating to come back on half an hour before you and your family are expected home, so you can still return to a warm house, not a hefty power bill.

13. Turn the Heat Off During the Day

We all know it’s the winter nights which are the coldest, so when you are able to open the blinds and let the sun in to naturally warm your home during the day, make sure you turn your heating off. Plus, if you are home during the day, you’re likely to be moving around a lot more, so are going to stay naturally warmer too.

14. Seal All Exits

Even when you have closed all the windows and doors you might still feel a draught in your home during winter. Not only is this annoying, it’s going to let your warm air out and make your heating work harder. Therefore, start up a search for the draught and find a way to stop it. It might be coming from under the bathroom door and you need to lay a towel along the floor in front of the door. Or perhaps the glass in your front door has moved and needs a quick application of sealant this winter.

15. Snuggle Up

Yes, body heat will keep you warm, but even if you’re sleeping alone you can still take something warm to bed by filling up your hot water bottle; that’s right – you’ve probably forgotten you even had one, when you’ve been able to simply crank up the heat to keep warm at night. However, to save money on your heating bill, turn the thermostat down and stay warm at night with a simple and effective hot water bottle by your side.
Finding ways to save money on your heating bill is easy when you start looking and perhaps you already have some effective home heating tricks of your own to cut the costs of your power bill. However you keep warm this winter, remember that you’re not just watching your power usage for your pocket, but also for the planet.

Fred Schebesta writes about saving money at Savings Account Finder, he focuses particularly on comparing and helping people find the right savings account to put their hard earned money away.


  1. Canadian CC

    While turning the heat down when you sleep or not at home is a good idea, don’t drop it too much. In fact, if you drop your heater by more than 3 degrees, you will lose energy efficiency when you put back the heater up since it will have to burst for a while in order to get back the 3-4-5 degrees missing in your house.

    At home, we never heat the 2nd floor. We maintain the first floor at 21 during evening (18 at night) and we keep our basement at 20 (without heating changes).

    It works well so far and our electricity bill is stable even thought Hydro Qc is increasing its price for the past 3 years.

  2. kenyantykoon

    i go for number 15 hands down!!! 🙂

  3. Financial Samurai

    It gets down to a “freezing” 50 degrees here in San Francisco. We try and just bundle up when we can, but sometimes, it gets just too cold and we need to turn on the heater!

  4. Lyne

    I like number 1 a lot… my living room often gets really warm with the afternoon sun, even in the winter!

  5. Savings

    @canadian cc – great tip with the reheating.

    @kenyantykoon – I agree, you save money and you might get lucky?!

    @Financial Samurai – Woh, that is definately heater weather. I don’t quite get that colder temperatures in Sydney but we still need to put the heater on otherwise it all gets very uncomfortable.

    @Lyne – The sun can be a good warmer. Try that combined with 6 of keeping your doors closed to other rooms, it will work a treat.

  6. Neil

    Quick tip – never, ever, turn your heat down or off if you have water heating. Even reducing the temperature slightly will give a longer gap between heating cycles, increasing the odds of a pipe freeze. Even if there’s no damage from the freeze, the plumber call out will cost you more than your savings. Water-heated homes should pick a temperature and stick to it, day and night all winter long.

    Also, older homes that have not had new windows put in may benefit from keeping those heavy curtains closed, even during the day. Heat loss through single pane glass exceeds any benefit from the distant winter sun.

  7. Colin Hamilton

    We have a piece on Heat pump hot water tanks.Yes that is true new to the market and they are the best energy savings machines for hot water use. They take the ambient temperature from your boiler or furnace room and heat your water.

  8. UltimateSmartMoney

    You can also use space heater in your bedroom while the furnace is off…

  9. Fireplace Design Solutions

    Nice post. Tip Number 9 is a good energy conservation tip, but I prefer to run the fireplace with a blower that helps to recirculate heat from the fireplace upstairs. There are many fireplace inserts out there that can do this very efficiently. Check out my page on fireplace design ideas

  10. Sean

    We’re “layering up” with some DIY four poster canopies:

    They’re very cosy inside!

  11. Offshore Company

    Great site you have here, but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed in this
    I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks a lot!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*