Thursday, October 20, 2011 -
By Relocation.com Staff
Heating costs become a major expense during the winter - especially in places that are super cold as well as those that are prone to long winters. Although we need heat to stay warm, many of us are actually paying more than what we should for heat because we crank it up all day.
These utility costs can easily be controlled and cut down by 10 to 15 percent, if you manage your heating wisely. Whether you are moving into a new place or want to save some money off of your existing bill, there are ways to save. Here are a few ways you can shave dollars off your heating bill this winter.
- Managing the thermostat. Turning the thermostat down by a few degree translates into a savings of 3 percent in your monthly heating bills. You probably will not feel any difference after lowering the knob a few notches but it will make quite the difference in your bill. Use only as much heat as you need and turn the heat down if you have to leave the house for a few hours. However, don’t turn it off completely as reheating a room from scratch consumes a lot of energy. Programmable thermostats can automate thermostat management. These thermostats can be programmed to increase or decrease heating at specific times. If you often forget lowering the heat before sleeping or leaving for work then programmable thermostat can be a great help.
- Maintenance and checkups. All heating units require regular checkups to operate efficiently. Gas heaters should be checked every other year, and oil and electric heaters should be checked once a year. Although professional checkups are available, it will save you money if you do this home improvement project on your own. Any serious issues will be obvious, and in such cases you may need to call a professional. You should also be sure to check the air filters regularly. These tend to get dirty and hamper proper airflow through the home. Also, make sure the heating vents are not blocked by furniture or other items. Simply reconnect disconnected pipes and seal leaks with metal backed tape from a hardware store.
- Manage curtains and windows. Curtains are an important tool to keep heat from escaping. Use long and thick curtains for winters to contain the warm air. Carelessly drawn curtains can let heat escape from the sides resulting in major heat loss. Windows are also important. Check for air leaks and gaps in the frame. Hardware stores have a variety of adhesive window gaskets that you can use to improve sealing. Window leaks can be checked using a neat candle trick. Scan your windows and doors with the flame, if you see the flame bend in a horizontal direction, you’ve found a leak. Seal the leaks using low-cost caulking or weather stripping.
- Use natural heat. There are several heat sources that many of us waste like heat from the sun. Using this heat can allow you to run a central heating unit at a lower temperature. On sunny mornings and afternoons keep windows open and lower the thermostat. The sun rays will keep your living room nicely warm and comfortable. Heat produced during showering and washing dishes is also very useful. Also, turn off exhaust fans and allow the steam to flow naturally in your kitchen or bedroom.
With some of these helpful tips, we are sure that your next utility bill will be significantly less than your previous one.