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If you live in climate that has cold temperatures and you need to decrease your annual utility bill, one point of attack should be reducing your annual heating costs, which can be accomplished in several ways, some of which you can perform on your own, while others require the assistance of heating and air conditioning contractors. Below, we list some the measures you can take to decrease your annual heating bill, from big to small.

1. Replace your Home’s Building Envelope

A building envelope is the insulation that rests in the space between a structure’s interior and exterior walls. Building envelopes come in various forms, with the decisive factor being the climate that a structure inhabits. If your home has an envelope, chances are that was designed to serve your climate. But if it’s original to your home, upgrading it might profit you in two ways: increasing the market value of your home, and decreasing the load on your heating equipment, which translates into lower heating bills.

2. Replace your Doors and Windows

Another big measure that can improve your home’s value and lower its utility bills, replacing old doors and windows is the most popular residential energy efficiency measure. However, like replacing a building envelope, it could require a significant investment. If you currently can’t replace your old doors and windows, using caulking and adhesive padding to keep out the cool breezes offers a temporary fix.

3. Have Heating Contractors Assess Your Boiler’s Efficiency

We usually don’t think of a boiler as a part of our heating system, but it is, and not just in the winter. Due to boilers’ long lifespan, most boilers in homes today have a low electricity to heat conversion ratio (roughly 65 percent) compared to the latest in boiler technology, which offers conversion ratios approaching 90 percent. If your boiler is nearing the end of its useful lifespan, replacing it with a more efficient model could pay dividends.

4. Have Heating Contractors Assess Your Ductwork

If you have to crank your thermostat up to 80 degrees or higher to achieve 72 degrees, the problem may reside in your ductwork. Even the best ductwork can gradually suffer leaks that pump air into wall and ceiling spaces instead of living spaces. Fixing the problem requires minimal expense compared to high heating bills you’ll receive if the problem persists. Having your ductwork regularly maintained is the best way to avoid this problem.

5. Using Efficient Space Heaters Instead of Turning on Your Furnace

For families, using space heaters instead of a furnace usually results in more cost than using a furnace. But for those who live alone and don’t use every room in their dwelling, using energy efficient space heaters in the rooms they do use can be financially viable. But before you invest in space heaters, be sure to calculate whether they would actually use less energy.