Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down The Meter
The cold months of the year are normally when keeping the house comfortable can cut into your spending plan BIG time. So I will try to come in and save the day, and go over some things that can be done to aid in lowering heating cost. Hopefully I’m not too late. Some of these things are common sense, but not often thought about, and some are a little tricky so to speak. First up…
PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!
For crying out loud. On average you save 3% on your heating bill for every degree you turn your thermostat back, but that is easier said than done, and no one wants to sit in the house shivering. Hot months can change to cold without us realizing it. It’s time to switch to long pants and long sleeve shirts. Your head and your feet are two primary thermal indicators for your body, so one thing you can do to really stay warm, is to wear a knit cap and some thicker socks. With your head and feet warm you will be able to turn that thermostat down considerably.
Hold Your Breath!
Leaky windows can be a major culprit in high heating costs, so if this is a problem, you will want to take care of it right away. One way to know if you have a problem is to light a candle and hold it near the edge of your window. If it flickers then you know you have a draft problem.
You can use caulking to cover cracks in windows. You can also use plastic sheeting kits. You can use the plastic on the inside or outside of your windows to reduce costs.
One of the things you can use to seal your unused doors is clear tape. It keeps a lot of air from blowing in, and it is easy to apply and remove.
You can also use weather-stripping on your doors and windows that lead to a garage or a basement. You can weather-strip most doors for $15 or $20 but you will save much more than that over the winter.
You can also use something like a draft guard to keep cold air out.
Whenever you use a bathroom or a kitchen fan, you are sucking the heat out of your house. While breathing is a beautiful thing, I’m sorry that I’m going to have to advise you to choke your house. Ventilation fans can greatly increase your heating costs.
You can get an anti-fog mirror in your bathroom if you don’t like your bathroom mirror steamed up after a shower. You can also turn on a hair dryer and dry your mirror streak free when it fogs up, and that will avoid heat loss.
Basements and Attics
Make sure that your basement and/or attic is insulated well. This can save you hundreds of dollars every single year in heating costs.
You can use a can of expanding insulation foam and go through you attic and basement sealing all of the small areas around your pipes. Covering your hot water pipes with cheap foam can also help cut down on heat loss.
Do you have a fireplace? A glass screen or front can reduce fireplace heat loss. You can also purchase a draft stopper (an inflatable pillow that you insert into the flue) and seal off your fireplace from heat loss very effectively.
Put a vent seal in your clothes dryer opening to keep heated air from leaving your home, and make sure that it stays closed when the dryer is not in use. This works better than metal flappers.
Check the ducts in your home to make sure that all of the crevices and cracks are properly sealed off, so that the heat from your house is not spilling into your walls or into your attic (if you have one).
Cover all drains. Yes ladies and gentlemen. Your drains will also suck heat out of your home. So whatever drains that you have, you should cover them when you aren’t using them. You can purchase rubber drain covers really cheap at your local hardware store.
Another avenue for hot air to escape your home is electrical outlets. You can cover your unused outlets by putting in child safety plugs.
If your house is on a slab foundation, insulating around the base of your home can save a lot of money. You can do this a number of ways; foam boards, foam spray, etc. If this is expensive you can always improvise and shovel some snow against the base of your home (if it is available).
Open up the curtains and blinds on the sunny …