Whether you are trying to get through a winter cold snap or just making certain rooms a little cozier, heating is a wonder of the modern age. But it is also costly, so here are a few tips to help reduce your bill while still enjoying the comforts of warmth.
Use Carpets and Curtains
Efficient home heating often can be as simple as just stopping heat from escaping. There are numerous ways to insulate a home – from extra glazing on windows to sealing gaps under doors. But don’t underestimate the worth of a good carpet or pair of curtains. Both cover surfaces that otherwise will suck the heat away, namely floors and windows. But be sure to open the curtains when the sun comes streaming in, then close them again once the sun has moved on.
Lower the Geyser temperature
Lower the temperature of your geyser or water heater slightly can make a big dent in your electricity bill. This may seem counter-intuitive: surely when it is cold you want more heat, right? Yes, but that does not necessarily mean water has to be hotter. In fact, making water hotter in cold weather will use a lot more energy, yet you won’t notice the difference. But reducing the heat on your geyser by just a few degrees will save a lot of power and still deliver nice steaming water for your use.
Add insulation to pipes
The pipes that move hot water around your home or business are often exposed to colder air. Consequently much of the water arrives more tepid and you have to wait for the pipes to heat up before you get the right temperature. That means that you not only waste water and time, but your home uses more energy. Simply covering pipes with insulation – available at hardware stores and easy to install – can keep heat in water for much longer.
If you want efficient home heating, close a few doors. Hot air rises while cold air settles lower to the ground. This makes it more likely that the cold air will move around a building. By closing doors, you limit that flow. This is pertinent if you are heating a room, so the hot air won’t escape or get overwhelmed by cold air. But also close the doors to colder rooms. For example, a bathroom is covered with tiles that quickly remove heat from air. Close that door and keep the chilly air in its place.
Install programmable thermostats
Climate control through air conditioning is a good way to heat up rooms, but it can devour a lot of energy. The problem is that we get lazy and just let the system keep running. This is just like leaving the lights on when nobody is in the room. An air conditioner takes a while to heat up a room, so it is more convenient to just keep it running. Fix this by installing programmable thermostats. These turn on air conditioning at different times and temperatures when you are most likely to use the room.
Use an Energy Monitor
Utility bills are almost criminally uninformative. All they tell you is how much you consume in a month, but nothing else. Is your heating driving up your bills? Do you have a faulty electrical device that is acting up and syphoning too much? Can you save a bit by being more strategic about when you use certain appliances? Energy monitoring can tell you all of that and more. Modern energy monitors are inexpensive and easy to install. You can use one to monitor your whole house or smaller units that measure the output of specific appliances. Leading models can send the data to your computer or smartphone, where you can observe your usage and then make changes.
Invest in gas heating
Electrical heaters are popular, but they are also possibly the worst way to generate warmth. These devices use resistance to make heat, which is a bit like driving a car with the handbrake still engaged. It will cost you a lot of fuel. Gas heaters are considerably cheaper to operate and they also create far more heat. If your power bill goes through the roof in winter, looks at gas as an alternative – especially for larger rooms.
Save money elsewhere
Sometimes you can’t realistically reduce your heating bill, especially if you already do it as efficiently as possible. Look at other ways to bring down your power bill: replace your lights with energy saving bulbs, get rid of old appliances and get new energy efficient models instead, load dishwashers and washing machines fully before using them, or trim back branches in your garden to allow more sunlight into your home.