The truth is, however, that heating these areas during the winter may actually reduce your heating costs.
It comes down to basic science. Heat rises. When you heat a room, the heat that is circulating through the area will eventually rise up, into your crawl spaces, before exiting the home. The reason that this happens so easily is because the hot air from below is actually stronger than the cool air above, and can easily pass through this barrier.
If the air in your crawl space is warm, the warm air from below will not as easily pass through the crawl space, keeping it in the living area for a longer period. This will reduce your need to continually run your system to heat your living areas.
There are also many other ways that you can reduce the cost of heating your home during the cold months. One of the least often methods used is preventative maintenance. Performing routine maintenance on your heating and cooling unit will ensure that it is always running at peak performance. If your unit is running as it should, your utility bills will be smaller.
Checking for leaks in your duct work, around your windows and door frames, and the efficiency of your thermostat will also help reduce your heating costs. A thermostat that is not properly aligned will register one temperature, while actually notifying the system that it is another. This can cause the system to continually run, driving up your costs.
There are additional ways to reduce your heating costs, all of which are specific to your home or the area in which you live. You can find out many options for reducing your heating costs simply by talking with a heating and cooling professional in your area.