There are many different ways to save money on your heating bills that do not require you to turn down the thermostat or put on extra clothes.In most cases, heating bills escalate not because the winters are getting colder but as a result of several factors that contribute to unnecessary power consumption and heat loss all around the house. The following are some smart ways in which you can lower your heating bills and save money:
Cover Bare Floors
Bare floors are cold. Walking on them with your bare feet will make you feel colder, tempting you to turn up the temperature on the thermostat. Covering bare floors with rugs and carpets, especially in the areas you spend more time walking or standing on, will keep your feet warm, hence there will be no need to increase the temperature in your home. Wearing heavy socks or slippers also helps to keep your feet warm.
Use Curtains and Blinds Smartly
Open your curtains and blinds early in the morning when the sun is out so that natural heat can enter the house. As soon as the sun sets, close them so as to keep the heat in your house from dissipating too quickly. The few degrees of heat that you let in the mornings and prevent from escaping in the evenings will save you money on your heating bills over time.
Use Portable Space Heaters
Another simple yet effective way of reducing your heating bills is by turning down the thermostat and using an energy-efficient portable space heater in the area you spend the most time.When you need to move to another room in the house, carry the space heater with you. By so doing, you only heat the part of the house you are in at present, keeping you comfortable.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat is a very smart way of cutting down your heating bills. You will be able to set it to automatically turn down the heat during the hours when you are asleep and when you are away from the house, thereby reducing power consumption.
Clear the Heating Vents
Items, like furniture for instance, that obstruct vents tend to hinder the flow of heated air and cause the heating system to work harder to keep the house warm. Ensure that the vents are always clear of obstructions so as to improve air flow. In addition, installing air deflectors over the vents will direct heat in the directions you desire. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming the vents removes dust build-up, thereby improving heating efficiency.
Make Smart Use of Vents and Fans
Kitchen and bathroom vents draw warm air out of the house, so you have to use them moderately during wintertime. Since warm air inside the house always tends to rise and stay at the top of the ceiling, use ceiling fans to re-direct that air back down.
Perform Regular Furnace Maintenance
In order to keep your furnace working all year round, you need to perform regular maintenance and inspections that include cleaning and replacing filters and checking the integrity of the furnace in general. Hire a professional to do the job for you. Implement a furnace maintenance program that utilizes the services of a competent contractor so that you will never forget about the maintenance work.At the same time, install a carbon monoxide monitor to warn you when carbon monoxide levels become too high while checking for gas leaks every now and then.
Make Adjustments to the Water Heater
For every ten degrees that you turn down the temperature on the thermostat of your water heater, you save an average of anywhere between 3% and 5% in operating costs. The optimum temperature at which you can operate your water heater is 120 degrees. Turning it off during the periods when you are not at home or are asleep will help to further reduce your heating bill. Insulating the water heater provides an additional 4% to 9% in operational cost savings. If you have a tank-less water heating system, you will see even more savings on your heating bill.
Insulate Your Home
A professionally insulated home can save you up to 50% in heating costs compared to a home that has none. Expert insulation contractors are able to completely insulate your home – from the attic to the floor.
Rid the Home of Drafts
Improperly insulated windows and doors allow cold air from the outside to enter the house. That cold air subsequently forces the furnace to work harder to maintain a warm temperature inside, thereby increasing your heating costs. To counter the effects of drafts, install window insulation kits that include weather strips or rope caulks. Do the same for doors by installing weather strips at the bottom (and top, if necessary) to prevent drafts from entering the house.
Use Heat That You Already Have
Heat is generated when you bake things in your oven. During the process, the temperature in your house increases. After you have finished baking, you could leave the oven door open so as to allow the heat to escape into the house, keeping it warmer for a longer time. If you have a clothes dryer, the same principle applies – leave the door open to allow the heat to escape into the house after you have finished drying your clothes. As simple as it may sound, doing those simple things can help to reduce your heating bill because once the heater’s thermostat senses the increased temperature, it will reduce the amount of heat it produces, cutting down on your heating bill.
PrudentlyUse Your Fireplace
Lighting your fireplace is a great way to reduce your heating bill. Make sure that it is in working order before wintertime. When not in use, keep the chimney flue or damper closed so as to prevent hot air in the house from escaping through the chimney.