Image Courtesy: Barbara Hanson

I don't have to tell you this but, it's cold!!! Here in Atlanta over the past week, we've experienced temperatures that were way below average. One day last week, the high was 27 and the low was 9. The normal high in Atlanta for this time of year is in the mid 50s and the lows are in the low 30s. My poor heat has been working overtime too keep my house warm and I am terrified to get the bill. My bill last month was about $65 but I am expecting the next one to be over $100. 

If you want to save money on your heating bills, consider these tips:

Programmable Thermostat.
If there is no one home during the day, there is no reason to warm an empty house. Get a programmable thermostat and set your heat at a lower temp when no one is home and program it to start warming up before you get home. You can purchase a programmable thermostat for less than $40 at Wal-Mart or Target. They are easy to install and you'll make up the cost of the unit with the money you save on your heating bills.

Empty Rooms.
Close the thermostat in rooms that aren't being used. This will force more heat into the rooms that are being used.

Stop Drafts.
Check the seals around your windows and doors, do you feel air coming in. If so, this is causing your heating system to work harder to warm your home. Your hard earned money is just flowing out of each of those leaks. Window sealant is available at most discount retailers and home improvement stores. Put a towel underneath any door that is letting cold air in your home. It's not pretty but it will save money.

Wear More Clothes.
My usual winter attire when I'm lounging around the house consists of sweat pants, socks, t-shirt and a fleece pullover. I would much rather wear a few more layers of clothing instead of turning up the heat and paying a larger heating bill.

Check the insulation in your home. Heat can easily escape from poorly insulated areas in your home. The more insulation you have, the warmer your house will be.

How much was your last utility bill? Has it increased dramatically?


  1. JT Locke -- The Frugal Housewife // January 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM  

    We live in Texas where we have had what is called "electric power deregulation." There are multiple little and big power companies to choose from along with different prices per kilowatt hour. You can choose variable or fixed rates. Previously we had a variable rate which we had to change when the prices of gas went up because our electric rate also went up to 19 cents per kilowatt hour. Our rate is currently at 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour.

    Our electric bill this month was $303.00. read that right, $303.00. We had to run it at 68 degrees because we had temps in the teens. We've since cut it down to 66 degrees and have started sitting under blankets and with layers of clothes on.

    We are going to try and renegotiate the price to a new contract period with a lower rate since now the lower rate is now 9 cents per kilowatt hour.

  2. Jerry // January 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM  

    I also only turn on the heat in one room at a time. Our apt. is set up that way. It leads to a lot more savings then just heating up the whole apartment. In this economy, we need all the insurance we can get to keep our budgets in place.

  3. // January 14, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

    Heat is the one thing I am willing to pay for!

    Now if I could just get my wife to agree...

  4. Pastor Jim Kibler // January 16, 2010 at 4:18 PM  

    I bought some electric heaters yesterday to help out.It has been cold here in Florida. Where is that global warming?

  5. Unknown // January 17, 2010 at 10:01 PM  

    One other thing I have found helpful is to sign up for the electric or gas company's budget program so that you pay the same amount per month, all throughout the year. It helps avoid getting a huge bill during the winter months. It sounds like this might not be possible in Texas, but I know in the Midwest this is common practice.