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.
Install a Tankless Water Heater
Another great way to save money on winter energy bills is by switching to a tankless water heater. A traditional water heater will waste an average of seven percent or more of the total water heating energy. This is because the cooler surrounding ambient temperature will draw energy and heat away from the water tank. A tankless water heater doesn’t suffer from this problem because the water is only heated as it is needed. EnergyStar estimates a tankless water heater will yield a savings of nearly $2000 in energy costs over the lifetime of the equipment compared to traditional storage models.
As an added cost-savings benefit, tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years which is significantly longer than any conventional tank water heaters currently on the market. Plus, leaks and water damage is no longer a potential risk because no water is stored in the heater.
One thing to keep in mind when switching to a tank list water heater is your maximum water usage. For example, if your household often runs two or more shower simultaneously then there is the potential that a tankless water heater will not be able to meet the demand. On the other hand, there is no risk of running out of hot water when taking back-to-back showers which is a common problem for storage-based water heaters.
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 airflow. 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.