As I am writing this article, it is currently -13°, with a windchill of -21°. It is THE coldest day of the year. In fact, it’s record-breaking cold here in Indiana! Due to that fact, the first thing that I am thinking about is “how much is it going to cost me to heat my home in this cold?” Our home runs on propane and my bill so far for this month is….wait for it….$800.00. *GASP* Absolutely insane. Now I do have a fairly large home, so this is a big factor in the cost. But still, I should be able to lower those costs and I will with these 10 Ways to Save on Propane Costs this Winter.
1. Install a smart or programmable thermostat
If you are not going to be home during the day, there is no reason to have the heat at 70° F all day. Instead, set your thermostat to lower the temperature while you are at work. You can do this by using either a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat. I use this programmable thermostat and it works great. If you know you will get home at 5:00 p.m., set the thermostat to back to the normal temperature at 4:30 p.m., so the house is warm when you get home. Just don’t lower the temperature too low where your pipes will freeze. I only lower mine 3° while I am at work.
2. Do an “energy” audit on your home
Look for places around your home where you can install additional insulation, such as the attic or garage. Insulation helps to keep warm air in and cold air out. This is huge if your attic doesn’t have proper insulation as this could be a major source of escaping heat.
Next, feel around the edges of your windows. Can you feel cold air drafting in? Your windows may not be properly sealed. If not, use caulk, which will seal the cracks and block any cold air. This is good for the summer as well, as this will help to keep air conditioned air inside of your house instead of escaping outside.
You can also shrink-wrap your windows with this window insulator kit. This is clear window film that is shrink wrapped to fit your windows through heat (aka a hair blow dryer). The insulator is designed to keep cold air out and warm air in.
Another way to block cold air flow is to insulate electrical sockets. You can buy socket sealers, as well as seal the electrical boxes with caulk. Family Handy Man has a more detailed DIY instruction article here.
3. Fill up your propane tank in the summer
Don’t do what I did and forget to call your propane man in the summer. If you call in the summer and completely fill up your tank, you should need less propane in the winter. Propane is also cheaper in the summer, so you’ll get a better price. Ask your propane company if filling up a bigger tank will save you money. You could swap out your tank for a larger one if your propane company agrees to give you a discount for filling a larger tank.
4. Wear a sweater
This may be obvious to some, but put on more clothes! Growing up, I was always freezing in my parent’s home. When I would complain, my mom would tell me to put on a sweater. Now that you’re an adult, do the same. Put on extra layers.
If you’re a woman, get these fuzzy fleece-lined slipper socks to wear around the house. Believe me, best purchase ever for my little tootsies. My husband got me 5 pairs for Christmas. 🙂 You can also buy a heating pad and keep it close on the coldest days. Those little puppies get super warm quickly.
5. Do the laundry all at once
My husband is a super neat person, as in, he’s very tidy. But he likes to make a lot of laundry. Because he’s a neat person, he also likes to do his laundry whenever he has any dirty clothes. So my washer and dryer are constantly running. Not a good idea when trying to save on propane costs. Instead, pick a day during the week to be laundry day and do the laundry all at once. This will limit the amount of propane being used to run the machines on small laundry loads.
A great idea to help save on dryer costs is to use woolen dryer balls. These have helped to reduce my drying times immensely, plus they help save on wear and tear on my dryer. You can read my full article on these fuzzy balls here.
How to Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Scent Booster
6. Buy a Pellet or Corn Stove
My friend, Traci, heats her entire house with a corn stove even though she has a propane tank. And she saves big bucks by doing this. Some corn stoves are interchangeable to be fed with either corn or pellets. Otherwise you could just purchase a corn stove or a pellet stove. This way, instead of buying propane, you only need to buy corn or pellets to heat your home.
7. Use an infrared space heater
Depending on where you live, it may be cheaper to incur more electricity costs than propane costs. That is definitely the situation for me. So, I purchased an infrared space heater to heat the rooms that I spend most of my time in. Now the rooms that I am in are warmer than the rooms not being used. I am also using less propane to heat my most common living spaces.
8. Open your curtains during the day
One of the cheapest sources of heat is the sun. Heat from the sun is free, which = good. Open your curtains during the day to allow the sun’s heat to warm your home naturally.
At night or on days when the sun is not shining, use thermal energy-saving insulated curtains. These can block the cold during the winter and the heat during the summer. A win-win for all year round.
9. Turn your water heater down
A simple way to save costs on propane is to turn the temperature on your water heater down. A water heater is typically set at 120°. By turning it down to 115° or 110°, you will save on the costs to heat your water. Every 10 degree reduction in heat saves about 8% in energy costs. You probably will not notice the temperature change unless you like to take VERY long hot showers. You can also install a flow-restricting shower head, which reduces the amount of water usage without effecting the water pressure.
10. Install a door draft stopper
A huge source of escaping warm air is through the cracks around outside doors. A quick and simple fix is to install a door sweep or a door draft stopper. These can be used on inside or exterior doors and can help to make your home more energy efficient.
These are my tips to help save costs on propane this winter. How about you? What are some ways that you save costs on propane? Please let me know in the comments as I am always looking for new ways to save money.
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