Winter is coming and for many people, it means much more than lower temperatures: it also means a much higher electric bill during a period where time is often taken off work for the holidays. It’s not a winning proposition for anyone involved.
If you’re looking to ensure that you can save some money during the cold season this year then read on: we’ll show you how to get more energy efficient and save yourself some of the higher costs of heating while the next cold front rolls in.
1. Lock Things Down
The first step to take is to look through the whole home for any extra areas where wind can pass through.
Have a chimney? Close it up.
Keep windows closed as often as possible.
Shut the door.
All of this will add up to big savings by the end of the season. It’s often the little things that people ignore which can lead to huge amounts of extra energy expenses by the end of the season.
2. Set the Thermostat Right
Programmable and smart thermostats can be a pain but many people overlook how useful they can be when it comes to saving money.
Many people leave their thermostats at the same temperature setting no matter what time of day or year it is. Try lowering from the usual 72°-75° range to something like 68° during the day.
At night, or at least after bedtime, you can lower it even more for the best results. Many people set them as low as 55° when they’re sleeping. It’s been found that most people actually sleep better in the cold and an extra quilt will end up costing far less than the gas and electricity used to heat the home by the end of the season.
Better sleep and lower bills? That’s a double win for those who choose to go down that route.
3. Use Energy Efficient Space Heating
Space heaters are notorious energy hogs. We all know that, and it’s often wiser to rely on the central air in a home than the old fashioned style of space heaters. There’s less fire risk and cheaper.
However, if you’re willing to look into newer technologies you might just be surprised.
In particular, the smaller and more efficient micathermic heaters. They work by utilizing a special coating that helps keep heat in place for longer and also passing air through the element to create an ultra-efficient unit.
They’re smaller than normal space heaters as well. This means smaller elements that require less energy with the capability of warming larger areas.
A couple of well-positioned space heaters in rooms that are in constant use throughout the day can help save a lot on energy bills. Just be careful to make sure you get one that’s powerful enough for your needs.
4. Invest in Double Paned Windows
While double-paned windows are standard in new construction, some older homes still have windows made with a single pane of glass.
It might not surprise you to know that much of the heat in a home is lost through the windows. However, double-paned windows have a vacuum in the center which will help to keep the interior temperature from going down too far.
Vacuums are remarkably good insulators. The lack of molecules means that only the radiant heat of the inner pain is lost to the outdoors.
It’s an expensive option but it’ll pay for itself after a few harsh winters.
5. Maintain Your Heater
Preventative maintenance on your heater can actually end up saving money. The best part is that you’ll be able to do so without having to call in an HVAC technician in many cases.
The biggest problem that will affect your heater is the filter: regularly check it to make sure it’s clean. If it’s not, the system loses efficiency which means slower warming and more gas burned throughout a cold spell.
You’ll also want to make sure that the registers in all rooms are clean, that the ducting is free from obstructions, and that there’s nothing flammable around any gas heaters.
It’ll also prolong the life of your heater, making it a double win when it comes to saving on your energy bills during the winter.
6. Seal Up Air Leaks
Every little bit of air escaping a home that is trying to keep warm is a problem. You’ll want to check for leaks and seal them to make sure you’ve got things handled.
Check around windows and doors, look at the cable and electrical lines coming into the house, and check in the attic.
If you find a leak, then seal it with whatever method you think is best. Preventing small leaks doesn’t sound like much but it’s one of the best ways to save on your heating bill. Some people have found themselves saving a significant portion of their bill just by replacing some weather stripping and running caulk into the right holes.
7. Use a Humidifier
While it might sound counterproductive to add water to the air when you’re trying to keep cool, humidifiers can actually help maintain temperature throughout the home.
While they do use a little bit of electricity you’ll find that your home stays warm for longer. The reasoning is simple: water retains heat better than air. With the humidity raised you’ll find that your heater runs less overall as the higher moisture maintains temperature.
It’s not a perfect fix, but in conjunction with some of the tips above, you’ll find it can save a bit. Every cent counts, especially in climates where the winters hit hard enough to really increase your bills.
Saving Money While Keeping Warm
We all want to save money, especially during the holiday season. It’s all about increasing the efficiency of your home’s heating system and ensuring that you’re not losing that efficient heating energy in the first place.
There’s no time like the present, why not start getting set up today?