The Cheapest Way to Heat a Large Home


Aside from Christmas presents and champagne on New Year's Eve, one of the largest expenses for many families during the winter months is heating their home. This can be a problem if the home is large and filled with people who do not want to spend cold winter nights huddled together for warmth. There are several ways to ensure that your large home stays warm this winter that go beyond turning up the furnace's thermostat or spending money on new sweaters and wool socks.

  • Place space heaters in rooms that do not receive as much heat as the rest of the home, including bathrooms. These heaters generally cost less to run than a furnace and can also be placed in rooms that require heat at night, including bedrooms, making it more practical to turn down the furnace after dark.

  • Install ceiling fans throughout the home. The fan can help push warm air from the downstairs to the upper floors of a home. Ceiling fan heaters can also be installed on existing ceiling fans. These heaters produce warm air that is subsequently circulated by the fan.

  • Change out the furnace filter. Many times a furnace is running inefficiently because its filter is clogged. Furnace filters can cost anywhere from less than a dollar to $15 or more depending upon the size of the unit.

  • Install weather stripping on windows and along the bottoms of doors. The stripping will help keep heat from escaping the home through any gaps in the windows. A blanket or old t-shirt can also be placed under a door to block the cold air from entering the home.

  • Install insulation throughout the home. The insulation can come in spray or pad form and will vary greatly in price depending on the materials used to produce the insulation. Environmentally friendly insulation can be installed and is manufactured from recycled materials such as jeans or even tires.

  • Install a programmable thermostat in your home. The temperature of the home can be adjusted by the time of day instead of the temperature in the room. For instance, if you have a family that is out of the home during most of the morning hours, the thermostat can be programmed at a lower temperature during these hours.

  • Close off rooms in the home that are not used. You may have a larger home that has unused bedrooms or bonus rooms that you are wasting money attempting to heat. Close the heating vents and doors of these rooms to ensure that no heat enters them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Space heaters can be purchased in both electric and oil based models. These heaters can be freestanding or there are units that can be installed on a wall.

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  • Photo Credit Large house on hillside image by Warren Millar from
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