Keeping Heating Costs Down as Winter Temperatures Approach

Winter is fast approaching, and as the temperatures drop, National Grid expects heating bills to go up.

The Geyser Bed and Breakfast on Ballston Avenue in Saratoga Springs was founded in 1855. A beautiful Victorian building that isn’t easy to heat up.

“This building is about 6,000 square feet,” Jason Penge said.

Penge and his wife are up for the challenge. They bought the B&B a year ago. It was a lifelong dream but one with its fair share of challenges.

“It took the whole winter season to kind of work the tweaks out of it,” he said.

As the cold months fast approach, he’s added some new tools to help out.

“So right over here is our thermostat for the house, and above it is our humidity control,” he demonstrated.

It’s a device that lets him control different rooms depending on which ones guests are staying in. While some parts get cold quick, others are the complete opposite.

“This is our first floor suite, and what’s unique about this suite is it’s on its own heating system,” Penge said. “There’s no way to turn up the heat that goes up these stairs to the second floor.”

Control costs can mean getting creative.

“This door controls the amount of heat flow that goes up to the third floor,” Penge said.

Penge also has two water heaters in his basement. He turns on the second when he needs to. He also used LED lights in most of the building, which National Grid recommends and something anyone can do at their home.

National Grid also recommends some energy saving and safety ideas:

  • Changing your furnace filters before the cold weather hits.
  • Replace at least five of your lights with ENERGY STAR® light bulbs.
  • Turn off lights, appliances, TVs, stereos and computers when not in use.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Unplug chargers, laptops when battery is full.
  • Make sure your vents are not blocked by furniture.
  • Seal up your windows (window insulation kits can be purchased from a hardware store or online).

October was unseasonably warm, but according to National Grid, the winter heating season starts on November 1 and runs for five months.

If you do turn your heat on in the coming days or weeks, be sure to call in a professional to do a once over on the unit to make sure it’s working correctly.


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