This year, the winter has brought a lot of snow, cold and snowstorms. As temperatures drop and discomfort mounts, moods tend to turn as icy as the frosty air, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s possible to make a few simple adjustments in your home that enable you to stay agreeably toasty without spending all your hard-earned cash.

4 Ways to Reduce Heating Bills

Here are 4 easy ways to reduce heating bills during the winter without freezing.

Change Fan Direction

It may seem counterintuitive to use a fan to help stay warm, but it really works. The trick is the fan has to be rotating in the right direction. If you carefully examine the chassis of your ceiling fan, you may notice a small switch somewhere on the body. The switch allows the direction the fan spins to be reversed. Generally, winter mode is clockwise, which blows air upward in the same direction that warm air moves, causing that warm air to be more evenly distributed throughout your space. To maximize savings, don’t forget to turn a fan off when no one is in the room.

Don’t Vent Your Heat

Surprisingly, one-way heat can be pulled out of your home is through vents such as the ones in your bathroom and kitchen. These vents typically connect to the outside, so when they’re active, they pull any warmth inside your home out and deposit it into the waiting cold. You may as well run your heat with the windows and doors open. You can minimize the impact of the vents by only operating them when absolutely necessary.

Keep Doors Shut

Everyone knows how important it is to keep exterior doors closed to prevent heat from escaping, but it’s not so obvious that this mindset should also be applied to interior doors. While leaving your bedroom door open when you’re not in it won’t cause nearly the impact of failing to close and exterior door, the uncontained space of an open room causes a larger area to be part of the equilibrium of your home’s climate. This makes your heating system work harder because it has a larger volume of air that it must warm up, and allows heat in your space to dissipate more readily as it diffuses into the larger amount of space. Simply put, if you’re not in a room, keep it shut. Don’t forget the bathroom counts, too!

Get Your HVAC Winter-Ready

As cold weather begins in earnest, you want to make sure your heat will respond and keep you comfortable when you turn it on. Too many people neglect to ensure their heat is ready to function before they need it, only discovering there’s a problem when it’s already become critical that they have heat. It’s recommended that you have your heat inspected by a heating and cooling specialist every winter at least, so that malfunctions and failures can be caught early, giving you time to pursue repair or replacement. You don’t want to find out your heat doesn’t work in the middle of the winter.

Living comfortably during the cold months doesn’t have to cost a lot, as long as you take heed of ways to erect barriers against heat loss. Monitor your home’s thermal performance and establish a plan of action to address your home’s shortcomings cheaply.

*Unedited January image by Erich Ferdinand (CC BY 2.0).