From October to April, the temperature drops and heating bills rise. In countries like the UK, heating homes can account for a majority of household energy consumption.
With so much energy and money being used to keep ourselves toasty when the snow flies and the temperature drops, it’s helpful to know there are a number of cost-effective ways to keep comfortable. Not only will taking some of these proactive tips to save your family money, but you’ll also help save the planet by reducing your energy use.
Let in the Sun
The sun is a bubbling, boiling ball of gas, sending out its rays all year round. Even though they seem less potent in winter, open your curtains and let that free warmth and heat into your home during peak daylight hours.
The sunlight will heat up your home during the day, which means less work for your traditional heating system, and then close the curtains at night to keep that same heat from escaping too quickly. A good set of curtains that don’t have any large gaps will also help maximize this effect.
Don’t Block Vents
While your couch might tie the room together if it’s directly over a vent or in front of the radiator, you might be spending extra money heating up the bottom of your sofa instead of the air temperature in your home.
Instead, keep furniture away from heating vents and let that warm air make its way through the house so you can maximize your furnace’s efforts.
Be Strategic With Your Thermostat
Another way to maximize your heating resources is to get strategic on when you are actively heating your home and to what degree. Usually, the best tactic is to turn on your heat half an hour before you wake up to return your home to a more comfortable temperature, but consider keeping things closer to 18 degrees and put on an extra layer. While 21 degrees celsius has been considered the ideal temperature, it’s now believed 18 degrees is just fine while protecting your home and pipes against the potentially harmful impacts of a cold house.
And when just one degree lower can potentially save your heating bill by nearly 10 percent, finding a new ideal temperature for your family could be a real game-changer for your budget. Just consider some fuzzy sweaters for everyone this Christmas.
Looking for an inexpensive way to add a fireplace to your home without a major remodel? Consider an electric fireplace! When choosing the best electric fireplace, there are a few things to look at, including size, aesthetics, and features that mimic the lifelike flames and crackling log simulation. Not only do they add some class to any space, but the timer also lets you choose between 30 minutes up to eight hours so you can warm up a room for exactly the timeframe you will be using it.
Also, with an electric fireplace, you don’t need to worry about buying wood, cleaning up ashes, the draft a chimney can produce or dealing with smoke. And because they are cool to the touch on the exterior, electric fireplaces are safe for homes with children or pets. And if you already have a traditional fireplace, always make sure to close the flue and draft when not in use as you can imagine, an open chimney will cause major heat loss.
Rugs and Blankets
This one seems obvious, but you can never have too many blankets on hand when relaxing and watching TV. When you have been sitting for a long period of time, you naturally cool off as your circulation slows down.
That’s when you’ll want to grab a blanket, snuggle with a loved one, or even invite a pet, AKA mobile heater, onto your lap for movie night.
Not only will you keep each other warm, but it’s a great bonding time. In the same vein, rugs can help insulate the floor and prevent the cold from radiating up from below, especially if you don’t have a basement.
Leave the Oven Open
While you may have been scolded as a child for opening the oven and letting all the heat out, now that you are an adult, you can use that same principle when you’re finished baking and open the door partway to intentionally release all that heat and energy into your home as a temporary heater.
With kids and pets, you will want to keep a very close eye on the open door to avoid injury, but if you are comfortable with the option, it will help make great use out of all that heat you created to bake your buns.
In the end, there are many cheap, creative ways to stay warm this winter while saving energy and money.