How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill this Winter


Winter is right around the corner.

It certainly feels like it’s here though. Even in Southwestern Virginia, it’s time to pull out the heavy coats and sweaters to brave the winter.

It’s also time we turn up the heat.

And that means costs go up as you’re using more resources. In today’s post, I’ll try to give you an idea of how to save money on your heating bill this winter.

Table of Contents


Use Heat When You Need It


Cover Up


Use Supplemental Heat


Cover the Floor


Evaluate Your Home


Consider a Different Heating Source



Use Heat When You Need It

I know a lot of people are working from home these days due to COVID restrictions shutting down many offices. 

But there are still a few tips that you can get out of this situation. 

The first thing you can do is turn the thermostat down a bit and wear a sweater while you work. That doesn’t do much for your exposed hands, but it’ll go a long way. 

Next, you can set a lower temperature when you are planning on being away for a few hours. This works particularly well if you’re still driving to the office. 

The lowered temperature will reflect on your heating bill as money saved because your furnace won’t have to work as hard to maintain the lower temperature.

Then, when you’re going to sleep, you can lower the thermostat again. If you’re like me, you likely cover up with a thick comforter and maybe another blanket. 

You’ll get the same cost savings as you would with turning it down while you’re away.

Cover Up

I mentioned this in the last section for those who work from home. A great way to save money is to lower the thermostat a bit and cover-up.

Small changes like adding a blanket, some flannel sheets, or even an electric heating blanket can make your bed and environment warmer.

You can even wear long johns or a sweater with your normal clothes to help tolerate the lower temperature.

Use Supplemental Heat

Thanks to the Stack Effect, there’s usually at least one room in your house that’s colder than the rest. Even with centralized heating. 

This means you have a great opportunity to use supplemental heat. 

This will allow you to target heat where and when you need it most without raising the thermostat for the rest of the house. 

You can add a small heater into your bathroom and it will make your shower feel a lot warmer. 

There are many supplemental heat sources available. You can get a space heater, fireplace, or a wood-burning stove. Though a fireplace and a wood-burning stove will be difficult to pick up and transport.

Cover the Floor

I prefer hardwood flooring and tile throughout the house. But those two and linoleum are not known for being kind in the winter.

They can be so cold!

You can easily place area rugs to retain as much heat as possible. Bathroom rugs are nice when you transition from the hot shower to the cold tile floor.

Another good option is to get some nice, thick socks or indoor slippers that you can wear around the house.

Evaluate Your Home

You should be getting an annual chimney inspection every year. 

But that won’t cover other areas of your home that could be letting in too much cold from the outside. 

Heat loss is a huge contributing factor in how high your heating bill will be and heat can escape from your house in the smallest of holes. 

Use a Lighter

Homes aren’t as tight as you’d think. There are tons of little holes that will allow air to move in and out of your house. 

Air can leak around doors and windows or air can rise up to the higher parts of your house and leak out of your roof. 

You can detect these leaks with a long-nosed light, such as a barbeque or a candle lighter. 

Move the flame slowly around the perimeter of the door or window. If the flame starts to move and dance in multiple directions, then you have a leak. 

You can add a low-cost adhesive foam strip to the leak to take care of them. 


If you have a chimney, it can be a huge source of leaked air. 

When you aren’t using your chimney, you should always make sure that your damper is closed. Otherwise, all the heat in your house will be pushed up and out of your chimney. 

Inspecting your chimney and the damper assembly when the damper is closed will let you see if you have any gaps that need to be filled. 

If you don’t plan to use the fireplace, any gaps between your damper and the frame can just be sealed with foam insulation or silicon. 

But if you do use your chimney, you can upgrade your damper to an energy-saving damper to seal and stop air leakage.


I also mentioned that attics can be a huge source of heat loss. And they can actually act a lot like your chimney.

Attics have been known to draw the heat up from the lower parts of your house.

Ensuring that your attic insulation isn’t missing or excessively settled is a pretty simple task that you can likely do yourself.

All you need to do is go to a home improvement store that rents out insulation blowers that will allow for cellulose insulation. Then you can quickly add the insulation where you need it.

Then, be sure to look at the recessed lighting and the attic door to make sure they are sealed properly and no air is able to leak up to the attic that way.

Central Heat Inspection

I also recommend that you get your central heating system inspected.

Dirty or rusty heat exchangers, leaky supply or return ducts, and even an improperly balanced duct system will lead to loss of efficiency, ultimately leading to increased costs in the winter.

Consider a Different Heating Source

You might be paying too much on your heating bill because of the type of fuel you’re using.

Generally speaking, natural gas is the cheapest way to heat your home. If you have propane or eclectic, you might want to consider switching to natural gas.

Unless you live in a forest and you cut and season your own wood, I guess.

At the time of writing, the average propane price for Roanoke, VA is $2.68 per gallon. The average homeowner uses about 1,250 gallons of propane annually for heating and cooking. That means you’ll spend $3,350 per year with propane.

In Roanoke, the average household uses approximately 17,400 cubic feet of natural gas per year. And current rates are about $19.15 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. So, you could expect to pay about $333.21 per year in gas prices.


There’s no getting around it, sometimes. You may have to spend more on your heating bill this winter.

Especially if you live in areas with harsh winters.

But taking measures that I’ve laid out today will help make a difference in your home.

You might even see sizeable differences in your heating bill with a combination of changes.

Schedule an Inspection

Patriot Chimney has a few CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps that you can trust with your home and family. 

During your service, you can expect your technician to inspect your chimney with a video camera so we can give a full top-to-bottom, inside out inspection. 

We’re licensed, insured, certified, and guarantee you’ll be happy with your service

Fill out the form below and we’ll call you to set up your appointment.



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