As temperatures fall, gas bills usually arise. As a result, many homeowners and renters are already scrambling to figure out how to lower their gas bills this winter. Fortunately, some simple options work surprisingly well, and they’re often overlooked. Here are a few unique ways to reduce your gas bill in the winter.

Put Down Rugs (or Wear Slippers)

If you have wood, laminate, vinyl, tile, or similar flooring, consider adding rugs. Along with thickening the barrier between your crawl space or basement – two spots that are often unheated – it can make your flooring feel warmer underfoot. As a result, it’s easier to stay comfortable, and it may cost less to maintain your home’s temperature.

Alternatively, you can go with slippers instead. Since those are classically designed for warmth and reduce heat loss through your feet, a cooler inside temperature might remain comfortable. Plus, it’s far less expensive than adding rugs.

You can also try a foot heating pad in areas where you spend time. For example, if you work from home, consider adding one under your desk to help you stay toasty without having to turn up the heat.

Try Electric Blankets

An efficient electric blanket doesn’t require much power, but it’s highly effective at keeping you cozy. As a result, you can turn down your thermostat to save on energy without having to be chilly or uncomfortable.

When you look for electric blankets, choose options with lower energy requirements. Additionally, consider versions with multiple heat settings and automatic shutoffs. The former lets you reduce your power usage if you aren’t as cold, while the latter makes the blanket safer to use.

Turn Down Your Water Heater

Most households have their water heaters set near 140°F, which is higher than most people typically need. By reducing the temperature to 120°F instead, you can significantly reduce your utility use. Plus, the temperature is high enough for showers and baths to stay comfortable. Additionally, you can still effectively wash dishes and laundry even if the temperature is lowered to that point.

Limit Your Use of Bathroom Fans

Exhaust fans in bathrooms are helpful for reducing humidity and odor. However, they can also pull warm air out of your home, which isn’t ideal in the winter. Plus, the extra humidity created by showers or baths is potentially beneficial during the colder months, as heating systems usually make the air overly dry.

While you can certainly use bathroom fans for short periods when needed, try to limit their use. After showers or baths, opt to simply leave the door wide open and let the warm, moist air come into other parts of your home instead.

Use Your Ceiling Fan

While most people assume that ceiling fans are only helpful during the summer, that isn’t the case. Typically, you can reverse the direction of your ceiling fan during the winter. When you do, the shift in the movement pushes the warm air that rises to the ceiling down. As a result, it helps keep spaces warmer.

Just make sure to keep the speed as low as possible. That way, it’s moving warm air down without creating as much of a cooling effect.

Get a Mug Warmer or Thermos

Hot drinks can help you stay comfortable when the temperature drops. However, after initially serving it, the beverage can cool off with surprising speed, making it less effective. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions.

If you prefer drinking from a more traditional coffee cup, consider getting a mug warmer. There are several options available, ranging from knitted or fabric wraps that go around cups to coaster-like heating plates that keep the coffee cup warm. Otherwise, you can simply go with a thermos with a mouth you can seal, allowing you to keep the drink warmer longer.

Open Your Curtains

If the sun hits any side of your home or apartment directly, open up the curtains. The sunshine can heat the side of your home, warming up that room. Then, close the curtains as the sun begins to set to help trap that heat.

In some cases, it’s wise to put removal window films that keep heat inside on those windows, too. That way, you’re also blocking chilly outside air more effectively. Additionally, makes sure that the windows aren’t drafty. Add new caulk or otherwise seal gaps, allowing you to keep more warm air inside.

Do you have any other tips that can help someone figure out how to lower their gas bill this winter? Have you tried any of the tips above and want to tell others about your results? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Tamila McDonald
Tamila McDonald

Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.