How to Save Money on Heating

Keep Yourself Warm With These Tips

October 30, 2018

Everyone wants to save on their heating bill, so find out how to cut heating costs and keep your home warmer in the cold season!

During the chilly months of late fall and winter, no matter what heat source you use—oil, gas, electricity, or wood—you can cut costs by adopting temporary measures to keep the thermostat turned down. Here are some money-saving tips for cutting the cost of cold snaps.

Note: Some of these tips are only appropriate for above-freezing cold snaps and are not advised for subfreezing temperatures.

Keeping Down Heating Costs

  • Temporarily close off heat to some rooms by shutting doors. (This requires a heating system that can be controlled room by room.) Shut the doors to unheated closets, the pantry, and the basement and attic.
  • Hang blankets over the windows at night. Tape or thumbtack the sides and bottom of blankets to the walls or windowsills to maximize the insulation value. (Press the tacks or tape under the bottom of the sill and over the top of the frame to hide any damage to the finish.) Remove the coverings on the south side of the house during the day to let in the warming sunlight.
  • Cover cracks around doors and windowsills with rugs, newspaper, towels, or other insulation. Window-sealing kits can be bought at hardware stores, too.
  • Use electric space heaters in living or work areas. These are more efficient than the furnace for localized heating, and they will allow you to set the thermostat lower for the whole house. Always be sure to use space heaters in open areas only.
  • Put on layers. The real trick to staying warm is to dress in layers, so get a few pairs of long underwear and long-sleeve undershirts that you can wear in addition to your regular lounge clothes. Don’t underestimate the heating power of a wool sweater!
  • Drink a warm drink. Though consuming the hot liquid will only warm you marginally, holding a warm mug in your hands can really help!
  • See more tips from our readers in the comments below!

Learn More

Get tips on how to keep pipes from freezing in subfreezing temperatures, explore more ideas for staying warm in winter, and catch up on your winter weather terms so you know when storms are coming!

What do you do to save money on heat in your house during the winter? Comment and let us know!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Keeping warm at the stove

Living in Oregon, we have an abundance of berries and fruits. Rather than make Jam in the summer and heat the kitchen, I wait until the cold weather is well on and make jam. The heat in the house saves $$ and the delicious scent lasts for a day or more.


I have a electric dryer and have it vented to inside and outside of house . Run it in mornings to warm house up. Helps keep the house warm and also from getting to dry

I want this

How did you get this setup? I've heard of it from other people as well, and it would be an amazing use of the heat already produced by the dryer.

dryer diverter

I do this too. I bought a 'diverter' some years ago. It is a small box that inserts between your duct and the outside connection. It has a movable piece so you can change the air from going outside to going inside. Do not use with a gas dryer. I either sent away for it or got it at a home center; sorry can't remember which. Works great.


I put bubble rap on the windows. just spray a mist on the window and the rap will stay on all winter.

foam board

I used foam board in the windows. I draped fabric over the front ant the back to look like curtains on the inside and out; worked beautifully

The oven...

Something my mother always did (and I continue to do) on cold days is - when baking/roasting something, leave the oven ajar after it's finished and shut off.

The excess heat seems to come more directly into the kitchen than if you leave it shut when you're done.


I remove the screens from my windows and wrap plastic sheeting around them and then re-install the screens. This creates a translucent "second window" with an insulating air gap between the glass pane and the screen. It also seals the window better since the plastic around the screen's frame makes it a tight fit and very little air flows around it. I know it is effective because the condensation I used to have on the windows, and resulting mold, has completely ceased to occur. My electric bill went down noticeably. I also installed good quality storm doors on my front and rear entrances.

Warming up on chilly mornings

I love to do my ironing early in the mornings before the house has warmed up. The moist heat from the iron heats the room and warms me as well.

Thanks for the tip.

Thanks for the tip.

Great tip. Thanks.

Great tip. Thanks.

I've tried this insulation

I've tried this insulation method in the past and it does work.

My son lives in Austin, Texas

My son lives in Austin, Texas where they have brutal heat and he did this to a large window that got direct sunlight in the afternoon and it made a tremendos difference in the cooling his house

Home improvement stores carry

Home improvement stores carry foam insulation board. It comes in various thicknesses but the one type has a foil backing already applied. I believe it is about 1/2-inch thick. It comes in 4ft x 8 ft sheets. Cut it to fit snugly in your window with the shiny side facing in to reflect the heat back into the room. Don't press the board directly against the window as the air gap between the board and window helps insulate better. The snug fit will also cut any drafts.

During the day, you can pull the foam board out of the window opening and let the sun in on the southern side. Keep them in for the northern side. Or paint the non-foil side black and leave them in during the day. The black will absorb the sun and heat the air gap between the window and board.

Conversely, in the summer, you can cut your cooling bill by putting the foam board in the window with the foil side out to reflect the hot summer heat.

For less than $7 for a 32 sq. ft. sheet, the insulation can cover several windows and reap a lot of savings. There is no tacking or hanging blankets and they're easier to remove during the day. The insulation value is also better and the foil reflects the radiant heat.

An acquaintance tried this on his home with single pane windows and cut his winter heating bill in about half!