How to keep heating bills low during Kansas City winters

Winter is knocking at the door, which means your heating system will soon be working hard to keep you warm.

But don’t worry, we’ll share some energy-saving heating tips so that you don’t cringe every time you get a heating bill.

We’ll explain how you can:

  1. Stay warm (without jacking up the heat)
  2. Boost your heating system’s energy efficiency

Ways to stay warm (without jacking up the heat)

Here’s what every homeowner’s winter goals look like:

  1. Stay warm
  2. Keep heating bills as low as possible

The good news? It’s possible to do both. Here are some ways to keep your home warm without relying on your heater.

Take advantage of heat from the sun

On sunny winter days you can take full advantage of that big yellow star that illuminates our planet.

During the day, open your curtains to south-facing windows to let sunlight naturally heat your home. Once nighttime rolls around, close the curtains to reduce the chill from cold windows. (Insulated curtains will keep the cold out.)

Set ceiling fans correctly for winter

Most homeowners only think about using their ceiling fans in hot weather to stay cool.

However, your ceiling fan can actually help you stay warm during the cold months. You see, your ceiling fan has a switch that controls the direction of the fan blades (clockwise or counterclockwise).

In the summer, you want your fan blades running counterclockwise because the fan will push air downwards, which creates a windchill effect that “cools” humans.

But in the winter, you want your fan blades running clockwise. When the blades run clockwise, they circulate the hot air that has risen to the ceiling and push it down to the floor, which helps you stay warm.

Note: You’ll want to set the fan to low speed during winter, or else it can create a wind chill effect that will make you feel cold. If you have a high ceiling, you may need to set the fan speed to medium for the heat to reach the floor.

Lower your thermostat at night

According to the Department of Energy, you can save about 10% per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10–15° for 8 hours.

So if you turn your thermostat down before you hit the hay, you’ll save money all through the night. Plus, colder temperatures help you sleep better, too.

How to boost your heating system’s energy efficiency

Homeowners can do 2 simple things to help their heating system (heat pump or furnace) use less energy…

Change your air filter regularly

Believe it or not, changing your HVAC air filter on a regular basis (every 1–2 months, as needed) helps your heating system run more smoothly.

You see, the purpose of your air filter is to catch debris so it doesn’t enter your heating system. So if it’s doing its job correctly, your air filter will eventually get dirty.

The problem is, a dirty air filter blocks airflow into your heating system, which makes your system work twice as hard to heat your home’s air. When components in your heating system are overworked, they can overheat and break down, leading to expensive repairs.

So, to avoid higher energy bills and early breakdowns, check your air filter every month and replace it when it gets dirty.

Schedule a tune-up for your heating system

The best way to save money during winter is to make sure your heating system (heat pump, boiler or furnace) is well-maintained.

In fact, one source estimates that you can cut your HVAC energy costs by up to 40% with regular maintenance.

Why does maintenance help your heating system?

Well, furnaces and heat pumps get dirty and experience wear and tear over time, which makes them work harder to heat your home. The harder your heating system has to work, the more energy it will consume.

During a maintenance visit (often called a “tune-up”), a technician will clean and lubricate components in your furnace or heat pump which will help your system run smoothly and use less energy. The tech can also catch problems before they get serious, saving you time and money down the road.

Our advice is to schedule a furnace or heat pump tune-up before winter hits hard, ideally in October–November. Doing so will make sure your heating system is ready to perform when you need it most.

Need to schedule a tune-up for your heating system?

We’ll send over one of our trusted techs to perform a full inspection on your heating system and make sure it’s in tip-top shape for the winter season.

Learn more about our maintenance plan, the 365 Comfort Club.