Heating tips
Man replacing a furnace filter

Discover smart ways to use energy that are helping people throughout the Northwest save record levels of energy and lower their energy bills. The more of these tips you follow, the more you'll save.

  • Turn down the thermostat. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower to heat your home. Each degree that you lower the thermostat can reduce your heating costs by as much as three percent.
  • Heat only when home and awake. If you have resistance heat such as ceiling heat, wall heaters or baseboards, turn down the thermostat before you go to bed at night and when you are away from home. You will significantly reduce your electric use by heating your home for only eight to 10 hours per day instead of 24.
  • Clean heat sources. Clean furnace filters regularly during the heating season and follow manufacturers' recommendations for replacing filters. Forced-air furnace filters trap dirt and dust, clean the air you breathe, and help the furnace operate more safely and efficiently.
  • Maximize warm air flow to improve comfort and efficiency. Make sure that furniture and window coverings are not blocking the flow of heat.
  • Properly insulate your attic, walls, floor and ducts. Consult EWEB's Energy Management department if your home was built before January 1, 1992, to determine the appropriate amount of insulation for your home.
  • Have forced air ducts checked for leaks. Most heating and cooling equipment contractors can check, repair, and seal ductwork.
  • Seal drafts. Keep doors and windows closed and block all gaps, cracks and openings to the outdoors. Keep woodstove and fireplace dampers and fireplace doors closed when not in use.
  • Use zonal heat efficiently. Only heat rooms in use if you have baseboard, ceiling or wall heat.
  • Dress for the season, use sweaters and extra blankets when cool outside.
  • Before winter weather arrives, place covers over the vents in your home's foundation. In cold weather, these will block cold air from flowing in under your house and help prevent water pipes from freezing. Remove vent covers in the spring to prevent moisture build-up.
  • Install a chimney pillow in the flue of unused or seldom used fireplaces. These are plastic pillows that are inflated to fill the chimney and block warm air from leaving. Always remove the pillow before starting a fire. Chimney pillows can be obtained from fireplace dealers and online.
  • Get to know your meter. Learn how to read your meter so that you can troubleshoot before receiving an expensive bill. During the heating season, check your meter (typically located on an exterior wall of your home) twice each month. Compare your current usage to previous years' usage to identify potential problems.
  • Only heat commonly used areas of the house by using a portable heater. Let the rest of the house stay at a lower temperature.

Download a copy of EWEB's heating tips (PDF)

Heat Sheets: How to heat your home wisely

EWEB's Heat Sheets describe various types of residential electric heating systems. You'll find information to help you select the appropriate system, including estimated operating costs. Each Heat Sheet also explains how the system works and identifies proper maintenance.