As the temperatures start to drop, many homeowners will be looking for new ways to keep their homes warm. Most people don’t realize it, but there are plenty of ways to improve your home heating situation without spending a lot of money. From improving the efficiency of existing heating systems to using alternative heat sources and improving the home’s ability to maintain warmth, homeowners will find that there are many steps that they can take to keep a warm home without increasing their heating costs.

1. Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves

Making use of alternative heating sources like a fireplace or wood burning stove can be a great way to reduce your heating expenses. Both of these heat sources provide a great amount of warmth and the fuel is especially inexpensive. The efficiency can be improved by installing a fireplace insert and newer stove models, like the wood pellet stoves, have very low operating costs. A well managed fireplace or heating stove can be an effective method for heating the home while saving money.

2. Reverse the ceiling fans

While using your ceiling fan in its standard mode will work against the heating of the home, turning the motor on reverse can help to keep the home warm. Operating the fans in reverse will help to circulate the warm air that is near the ceiling around the home and in doing so, it will help to improve the interior warmth.

3. Weather seal the windows

Installing plastic insulation on the widows can be a great way to reduce your home heating costs. Not only will the plastic help to reduce the amount of draft that comes through the window, but the dead air that is trapped between the window and the plastic will also act as a layer of insulation.

4. Install a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat can also be an effective way to reduce home heating costs. By programming the heater to only operate at a comfortable level when you are actually at home or awake, this can save the homeowner money. Setting the heater to a reduced function when nobody is home and then having it resume at a comfortable level shortly before you arrive will allow you to cut costs without having to sacrifice comfort.

5. Maintain the furnace

This is an important step for reasons that extend beyond keeping warm. Homeowners should get their furnace inspected once a year shortly before the usage season. This will not only help to keep the furnace in good working order and ensure efficient operation, but it is also a step toward ensuring the safety of the unit. Getting the system cleaned once a year and changing the filters regularly will extend the life of the furnace and cut the cost of keeping the home warm.

Taking a few simple steps can help the homeowner to significantly cut the cost of their home heating bill. Many of these measures are low in cost and require little effort to achieve. By investing a little bit of time and money, you can reduce the cost of keeping your home warm this winter.