Additional Home Heating Bill Savings & Conservation Tips – 1

Editor’s Note: To view the 500+ different energy and water conservation tips for the home we have collected, simply access our free home Energy Saving and Water Saving Guide, 2nd Edition

We continue with our review of the many energy conservation tips we have received for households to reduce the consumption of natural gas, home heating oil, electricity and other energy sources consumed in the generation of heat for homes in the winter.

Today we begin our review of these suggestions to reduce your home’s heating bills which will cost you more money to implement yet which can save you a lot year after year after year. Are these money saving tips as well? That will depend on your particular cost of natural gas, home heating oil or electricity used to heat your home as these suggestions are not cheap.

Number 317, Electric Mattress Pad. Using an electric mattress pad can certainly keep you much warming in bed at night to allow you to set the temperature on your central furnace’s thermostat much lower at night to save you money on your winter heating bill. You need, of course, to compare how much money you are spending on the additional electricity consumed by the electric mattress pad to determine if it is saving you money.

Number 318, Infra-Red Temperature Reader. These cost around $100 but can be found on sale every now and again for around $50 as we did last year. This is a good device for use during the winter to locate areas of the outside wall that are colder than others. This of course is a sign of insufficient insulation which is costing you money through higher home heating bills. With ours we found cold air leaks around basement fireplace which we have subsequently sealed. In the picture below we are testing the temperature of the air intake unit in our basement through which air is passed from just above the basement floor into our solar air heater and then returned through a duct in the basement’s drop ceiling.

solar max 240 blower assembly reading Additional Home Heating Bill Savings & Conservation Tips   1

In this next picture, the infra-red temperature device shows the air heated by the solar air collector has increased the air’s temperature by more than 80 degrees!

temperature rise 1 Additional Home Heating Bill Savings & Conservation Tips   1

Number 319, Attic Pull Down Stairs Insulation. For those homes with a pull down stairs type of access to the attic, don’t forget to insulate the top of the pull down stairs. This area is just like the rest of the floor of our attic; if it is not insulated, then hot air will leave your room and go up into the attic and then out through the openings in the roof, causing your furnace to run more than it should to heat the livable areas of your home and cost you higher winter heating bills. There are specialty products you can use for this very purpose.

Number 320, Line Mattress with Thermal Sleeping Bag. One of our site’s visitors made this suggestion as a way they use to keep warmer when in bed at night which allows them to set the temperature on their home’s thermostat lower at night to reduce their winter heating bill.

Number 321, Plant Insulating Barrier of Shrubs 1 Foot From House. The idea here is to create a wind break on the side of the house which received the most direct wind in the winter. By doing this, you stop much off the cold wind from reaching the exterior wall to reduce the amount which might penetrate through the wall and into the home.

Number 322, Interior Solar Blinds Collective Side Out. We have written a lot about the exterior solar blinds we use on the outside of our south facing windows. Well, there are products which one can use on the inside of the south facing windows which have two different types of sides. One side will repel most of the sun’s UV rays entering the window to keep the room cooler in the summer. The other side will collect the sun’s UV rays and help keep the room warmer in the winter. This type of product is more expensive than exterior solar shades. You can see a picture taken at dusk of an interior solar blind installed on one of our windows below.

window with internal solar blind at dusk Additional Home Heating Bill Savings & Conservation Tips   1

Number 323, Throw Blankets on All Furniture. What an excellent idea. Recently the ‘snuggy’ is all the rage in keeping one warm inside the home during the winter. A snuggy is nothing more than a throw blanket, really. Either way, keep one on all chairs and love seats and couches in the house during the winter to help keep those on the furniture warm, the temperature in the home set at a temperature a little lower and more cash in your pocket from reduced winter heating bills.

Number 324, Use Fully Dried Hardwood for Maximum Heat. I haven’t used a wood burning fireplace or stove in a long time. However, when I did I remember always being told to be sure to use fully dried firewood (and hardwood varieties) to maximize the amount of heat generated.

Number 325, Drink Lots of Wine. OK, OK, so the wine (or other beverage with alcohol) might make you feel warmer. However, there are limits. While this is not something we do, it was suggested (perhaps tongue in cheek) by a previous participant in one of our energy conservation contests.

Number 326, Electric Space Heater. This suggest was made by a visitor to our site,, during one of our energy conservation giveaways. The idea here is to concentrate the heat in the room that is being used, rather than heat the whole house. What was suggested was to keep the central heating’s thermostat down to around 65 degrees F or so and then simply use a portable heater in the room that is actually used. Let’s say that one is watching TV in the family room in the evening. Well, for those 4 to 6 hours or so, have the temperature down on the thermostat to the overnight setting and simply use a portable heater within the family room itself. Would this idea work for you?

Number 327, Use Ceiling / While House Fan. While commonly thought of only for making it feel cooler during the summer, a ceiling fan, when rotating in the opposite direction during the winter can help to more air around without  causing the air to blow down on the house’s inhabitants. This way, the hot air does not stay up on the ceiling but is distributed around to all levels of the room to keep it warm and thus requiring the furnace to run less often.

To view more of our additional home heating savings and conservation tips, simply select this link to Part 2.

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  1. beth says:

    Can you tell me what the brand is of the reversible interior solar blinds and if they do a significant job of keeping the heat in? I would also be interested to hear how they compare to the EZsnap in the summer.

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Beth,

    It did not have a brand label on it that I can see.

    However, I can tell you that I was disappointed in the amount of heat it produced in the winter. Sure, I could feel with my hand that the side which accumulated the heat was warm to the touch, but that was as far as it went.

    What I do recall is that it was pretty expensive (but I won it free at an energy conservation raffle) at $50 for the one you see in the picture of the basement windor above.

    I would suggest you go with the plastic window film on the inside of windows in the winter and the EZ Snap on the exteror in the summer. At least, that is what we do and it works fine for us.


  3. Belcat says:

    Heating blankets should only be used to take the chill off the blankets – keeping them on during the night is not that healthy. If you are still cold, you are better off adding another layer of blankets.
    I do not recommend blinds for the winter; energy is easily absorbed by the house. You could always get drapes to close at night and open in the morning, those would help, but it’s a hassle. It’s likely just as effective (like Dan says) to get plastic wrap (over the whole window, not just the inside of it). Repelling the sun during the summer is best done outside with awnings or something else.

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