Do high heating costs cause you to dread the colder months of the year? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average homeowner in the United States spends $2,060 on their utility bill each year. While heating is just one component of your utility bill, most of the money you pay toward this bill covers your heating costs. In fact, 29% of your total utility bill probably goes toward heating your home.
If you are hoping to reduce your heating costs, there are three things you should know about your home that affect the cost of heating.
The Size of Your Home
In most cases, the smaller your home, the less you'll pay for heating. If you are considering moving and want to avoid a hefty heating bill, real estate professionals recommend finding a home that's less than 1,000 square feet. In a home that's 3,000 square feet, you'll most likely end up paying about $200 more each month on your electric bill.
If you want to pay less for heating, other small-home options include living in an apartment, where landlords often cover the cost of heating. If they don't, you can expect to pay an average of $50 to $80 a month for utilities, which is dependent upon the source of fuel.
The Age of Your Home
Old houses that are in need of repair will likely have higher heating costs. This is the case if the roof is in need of repair, there are air leaks coming in through the doors and windows, and it is poorly insulated. Older homes also usually have equipment that is in need of heating repair, which adds to high utility bills.
Here are some ways to make older homes more energy efficient:
- Add or replace insulation, especially in the attic
- Update your windows and doors
- Seal air leaks around chimneys and electrical outlets
The Style of Your Home
How much you pay for heating can also be affected by the style of your home. For instance, ranch-style homes often have a low pitch roof, and combined with extended eaves, make the perfect spot for ice dams to form. The roof on this type of home is also known for accumulating snow.
Both of these conditions can make it more difficult to heat the home. If you are looking for a style of home that is easier to heat, multi-story homes are often more energy-efficient.