When it comes to winter and heating your home, understanding the rules set forth by your utility company will help you stay warm all winter long. With today's high cost of living, heating a home has never been more expensive, and it's a good idea to be prepared ahead of time. Mapping out a financial budget will make it easier for you to keep your home comfortably warm throughout the long winter months.
The heating season is defined as the period of the year during which heating a building is necessary to maintain comfortable conditions. Depending on which part of the world you live in, this period can vary. For instance, in Minnesota, the heating season runs from October 15 to April 15 each year.
Things to Do to Save Energy and Money
To save yourself money during the heating season and still stay warm, you can do a few things. Seal all windows and doors with weather stripping or plastic to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Vacuum heat vents and have your furnace serviced when recommended in the owner's manual. Caulk cracks and gaps in the house. Try turning the thermostat down a couple of degrees and wear a sweater instead of keeping the heat turned up high. These tips will help you save money and energy in the long run.
Utility Companies and the Heating Season
Utility companies can turn your services off for nonpayment, even in the middle of winter. During the heating season in Minnesota, gas and electric that is needed for heating will be granted extra protection from shut off. It's not a guarantee that your services won't be discontinued in winter, but if you make a payment plan and stick to it, the utility company will not shut them off.
Planning ahead for the heating season will ensure that you stay comfortable all winter long. Try to take advantage of any heating assistance you may qualify for as early as possible through your local community service office. Also, most utility companies have budget plans that spread the cost of heating out over the entire year, making it easier to make the monthly payments.