The best way to Save Cash on Your Winter Heating Payments

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Homes with radiators can consider heat reflectors, foil or sheet metal that fit behind the radiator and direct heat away from the wall into the room.

Heating systems usually last around 12 to 20 years, depending on the type. But people often wait for the systems to fail before replacing them, Anderson said. If yours is past its prime, you may want to get quotes for a replacement now. The cost will likely be higher if the device fails in winter and needs to be replaced in an emergency. Up to 20 percent of energy costs can be saved by converting to a more efficient heating system, according to Energy Star.

It costs roughly $ 2,700 to $ 6,400 to replace an oven – more if you’re looking for a highly efficient model or your plumbing needs repairing, according to HomeAdvisor, a contractor matching service.

“You have to spend money up front, but you will save money for a long time to come,” said David Nemtzow, director of the Department of Energy’s building services office.

You can potentially pay for the upgrade with an “energy efficient mortgage” by including the cost in a refinancing of your home, said Steve Baden, executive director of the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), which sets the standards for and promotes the energy efficiency benefits of residential buildings and focuses on new construction. Borrowers can often get cheaper financing terms as lenders consider the value of the savings with utilities. Contact Energy Star and Fannie Mae for details.

Tax credits are also available if you upgrade to a more efficient heating system or water heater.

At the very least, get your heating system checked to make sure it’s working well before it gets cold. A professional will check electrical connections, oil all moving parts, and possibly change the filter (which you should do at least every four months, professionals say). “It’s worth getting a tune-up,” said Mr. Anderson.

Do you remember your father’s advice when you were young? “Put on a sweater!” Or, as advised by a video from the Department of Energy: “Grab a blanket. Invest in a new set of slippers. Make yourself a cup of tea. “It may take your body a while to adjust, the department says, but you will appreciate the savings on your heating bill.