How to Cut Heating Costs During the Cold Weather
Now that summer has ended and we can all turn off the air conditioning unit, it is time to prepare ourselves for the long winter ahead.Â While it would be pure luxury to crank up the thermostat and sit back and relax, we should all be cautious of how costly the excessive use of heat can be.Â Depending where you live, heating costs can take a big chunk out of your wallet for 25% to 50% of the year.Â So, while living as one with the cold is never an option, making some small changes to avoid using your heater all day long can really save you a good amount of money! Here are a few options to make your holidays less expensive but just as enjoyable!
The first and most important thing to do is to insulate.Â This means restricting cold air access into your home by covering up any holes or cracks.Â Usually, you can buy insulating materials at any hardware store.Â By attacking all possible enablers, you can really cut back on your need for the heater.Â If your home is poorly designed or made a long time ago, you may have excessive draft problems and will have to resort to bigger materials.Â Plastic sheets can be used to cover up your windows and you may want to put some old rags or sheets at the foot of your door to stop cold air coming in through the space between your door and the floor.
Another important thing to do is to reduce your heat by five to ten degrees. So, if you usually set it to 75 degrees put on a light sweater and turn it down a few notches.Â Also, when you aren't home, don't use the heater! And while the house will be freezing when you get home, don't crank it up to 90 just to get it warmer faster.Â This is a big waste of money and heat. Just turn it on to your set heat and wait it out! If you are determined to use your central heat as little as possible, a space heater may be a good investment.Â It is portable so you can heat up only the rooms you are using, rather than the whole house.
It is very important to keep your heating equipment up to date.Â Having an old or dirty furnace or heat pump can affect its performance considerably and you may end up loosing a lot of heat.Â If you do not have easy access to your water heater or furnace, call an expert to come and check it out.Â Once it is cleaned out or repaired, your heater will function much better. Another thing you can do is to insulate your water heater by wrapping an insulated blanket around it.Â This helps keep the heat in and you water will take less time to get hot.
When it comes to your daily activities, there are a few easy things you can do to keep your heat costs at a low.Â Before you leave to work in the morning, open all the windows facing the sun to let in as much heat as possible during the day.Â Once the sun moves, close those curtains to keep the warm air in.Â To avoid using as much hot water as possible, try washing all of your laundry in cold water.Â The clothes will be just as clean! Also, cut your shower time is half. You can save 33% on your water heating bill!
While it is a relief to be under the hot water for half an hour, this really adds a lot more cost than you think!Â Finally, try wearing a sweater instead!Â It keeps your body warm and makes it possible for you to turn down the thermostat even more!
By following these simple tips, you will really save a lot of money!Â That leaves a few extra bucks to spend during the holiday season! Enjoy and keep warm!