10 tips to keep heating costs low this winter

(WVLT) -- Have you been putting off fixing the heater until temperatures drop a little lower? Maybe you've put some cling wrap around the windows to keep the heat in?


Saving money on your electric bill is easy with these 10 tips:

1. Move your sofa
Though putting the couch in front of your heater can warm up your relaxing spot, it can also take up heat that could have been used throughout the rest of your house. Move your sofa away from your heat source so hot air can circulate more freely. The same goes for your curtains or drying clothes to maximize how far your home's heat can travel.

2. Close your curtains when the sun sets
When the sun goes down, the heat that came from light can escape back out through windows. Put down the cling wrap and use heavy thermal curtains to trap heat inside your home.

3. Use compost to heat your home
Compost, when made correctly, creates heat, so why not use that heat? A simple search on YouTube will yield plenty of videos that show how to heat showers and greenhouses. There's also a detailed webpage devoted to creating a compost furnace.

4. Move to Finland
Sure, it may not sound like the most cost-effective solution to lowering the electricity bill, but the country has been creating subterranean structures for parking, data centers and more. The extra heat that's generated by the structures is piped upwards to heat city homes. Community heating has also become popular in other parts of the world, like in Paris, where experts have explored using excess body heat from the Metro to help heat homes.

5. Use plush rugs on hardwood or tile floors
They're warmer to walk on, and rugs can help keep heat from escaping through the floorboards in your home.

6. Leave the door open when you shower
Share that warm, steamy air with the rest of your home—if you don't need the privacy, shower with the door open!

7. Leave the oven door open after baking
Let the heat out of your oven after baking so it can travel around your home, heating your kitchen and beyond.

8. Put bubble wrap over your windows
Bubble wrap can cut heat loss from your home in half. It may not be the most attractive decoration in your home, but it will cut down energy bill costs. Double up by putting heavy thermal curtains over the bubble wrap.

9. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan
Change the direction of your fan from rotating in a counterclockwise manner, to clockwise, where it will push cool air upward and mix it with the rising heat. Once it's mixed, the air will spread downward and make your room feel warmer.

10. Warm an entire room with a DIY terracotta pot heater
Make your own terracotta pot heater to warm your entire room! The pots stay hot for hours and can warm using some pots and candles.

Aire Serve tech Jeffrey Combs isn't a weatherman, but knows when temperatures start to drop.

"We have people that are kind of waiting until the last minute," Combs said.

He's walked into hundreds of homes to make sure folks are prepared for winter.

"Any kind of extremes in the heat or the cooling, the phone lines blow up and we get extremely busy," Combs said. "My top three calls would be no heat, or it's just not working as efficient as possible, or my thermostat is blank."

Combs told Local 8 News people are nervous to give him a call.

"People have it in there mind that when someone comes out, they're going to have to get a brand new unit," Combs said. "And that's not true; usually it can just be repaired."

Combs told Local 8 News a repair could cost around $300 to $1000, but many people think that's a small price to pay for safety.

"It could be dangerous if it's not heating correctly. And they're saying we could have snow this weekend, so I needed to get them out here right away," local Sherry Hagerdorn said. "I wanted to make sure it was ready to go before it snows and we don't have heat."