With a few simple steps, the average homeowner can reduce heating bills by up to 10 percent.
As temperatures dip outside, the natural response is to hike up the thermostat inside to keep our homes cozy during the winter months. But by taking a few basic steps and investing less than $200, most homeowners can save up to 10 per cent on their heating bill.
Make a detailed survey of each window in your house. Look beyond the obvious drafts to other indicators that heat is escaping such as loose joints, damaged weatherstripping, rot, and faulty hardware. Use sealants to repair leaks and keep out the cold.
A second survey should be done on your furnace. Such a simple step as replacing a clogged filter will keep the air flowing more efficiently. In the same vein, look around your home and make sure that furniture and drapes do not block the flow of heat into your rooms.
Lowering your household temperature at night can save two percent on your heating bill. These savings can be enhanced if you invest about $150 in a programmable thermostat. Most of these devices allow you to make four settings, so the temperature can also be lowered when the family is out at work or school during the day, and raised a few minutes before everyone returns home. When programmable thermostats are installed, most heating bills experience a six percent decrease.
The place most homes endure the biggest heat escape is in the attics, so check yours to ensure that it has sufficient insulation.
The act of “zoning,” meaning closing off registers and doors in rooms not used in the house can also save about two per cent on your heating bill. However, be sure to leave doors open between heated spaces for the warm air to flow more efficiently.
Still looking for more savings? Age Concern, who offer free expert advice on their web site about home improvements, suggest putting on a sweater. By donning a warm garment and lowering the setting of your thermostat just two degrees, he says you can save about six percent of your energy costs over a twenty-four hour period.
Another easy solution to fighting high heating costs is adding moisture to your home. You can invest in a humidifier, or add ambiance to your home by simmering cinnamon or cloves on your stove through the evening. The idea is that when air gets too dry, our inclination is to turn up the heat. If the moisture content is comfortable, most people can keep their thermostat about two or three degrees lower than in a dry home.