by Patty Gallagher
Just a few weeks ago, unseasonably warm weather and atypically low oil prices had homeowners thinking they might get off the hook with more affordable heating bills this winter. But oil prices are climbing again—just as an Arctic cold front made its way across the country to remind us what a real New England winter feels like.
If you get anxious every time you crank up the thermostat because you’re worried about the cost of heating your home, you’re not alone. Nearly 70 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts—making the prospect of overspending on heating their home a very real struggle.
But there are ways to curb the costs of heating your home. Follow these helpful tips so you can burn oil without burning up your savings at the same time!
Prepay off peak season: Homeowners generally burn significantly less fuel during the summer months. Because of the decreased demand, many oil companies will offer lower rates in order to generate revenue. In many cases, you might be able to prepay and lock in your oil prices for a fraction of what you’re likely to spend if you fill up during the winter. While it may be too late to take advantage this year, speak with your provider during the summer and you may be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars at this time next year.
Invest in a smart thermostat: Once your oil tank is filled, it’s now up to you to heat your home in the most responsible and efficient manner possible. If you forget to turn down the thermostat on an unseasonably warm day, you’re throwing your money away. Investing in a smart thermostat can help you offset the potential for waste. You’ll be able to remotely manage your thermostat settings and control temperatures in different areas of your home. Many of the popular models today can be purchased for less than $200 and may help you save thousands over the years, making smart thermostats one of the easiest and best investments you can make in your home.
Service your furnace: Conducting routine maintenance on your furnace is essential to make sure that it operates at peak efficiency. Some tasks you will likely be able to handle yourself—cleaning your filter and ducts and wrapping your furnace with insulation, for example. Others may require the care of a specialist—checking for leaks and cleaning the furnace itself. It is recommended that you should service your furnace on a yearly basis, so make sure to schedule it as soon as possible to get the most out of your heating system this winter.
To learn about more ways to save your family money, be sure to check out our blog regularly or visit our Online Learning Center here.