Responding to restrictions imposed by COVID-19, retailers cleverly offered their holiday sales long before Thanksgiving.  Sadly, utility companies do not offer “Black Friday” sales, but you can give yourself a discount on your bill by following a few simple tips.

1. Maintain your system

Performing routine maintenance on your furnace and ductwork will increase the efficiency of your heating system. Along with a professional inspection, you can also reveal and mitigate issues before they become emergency situations.  Regularly changing your air filter, a simple DIY task, can reduce a heating bill by 5% to 15% as well as improve the air quality in your home.

2. Insulate your water heater

Adding a pre-cut jacket or blanket, available at home supply stores for about $20, to your water heater can reduce standby heat losses and lower your utility bill by up to 16%, according to, the Department of Energy’s consumer resource.

3. Insulate your home

It’s amazing how much heat is lost through drafts around doors, windows, pipes, and outlets. Seal any cracks and ensure windows and doors have effective weather stripping. If your home is older than 40 years, you may need to upgrade the home’s insulation. To save as much as 10% of a room’s heat, open curtains and blinds on sunny days, and remember to close them at night to preserve heat.

4. Lower your thermostat

Consider lowering the temperature to 68°during the day and even lower at night. Invest in a smart thermostat that can turn down your furnace when no one is in the house and raise it up again 30 minutes before you arrive home. Your first year’s savings with the use of a programmable thermostat will likely pay for the device.

5. Use your humidifier

If dry air feels colder, it’s reasonable to assume moist air in your house will help you feel warmer and allow you to keep your thermostat at a lower temperature. Running a humidifier in the winter will also help you avoid bothersome static electricity.

Your utility company may not offer holiday sales, but you can offer yourself a discount on your heating bill by paying attention to a few simple tips.