We cover so many of the standard ideas for improving energy efficiency and saving money on heating costs. From common ideas like lowering the thermostat and cleaning your air filter, to using a humidifier to raise the ambient temperature, there’s a wealth of methods for reducing heating costs. But what other methods are there? Today we want to show you a few other things you may not have considered when it comes to reducing energy costs.
Go Out and Visit People
The first suggestion? Leave the house. Spend a weekend taking the kids to visit their grandparents. Spend evenings after work with friends, go out to eat or for a movie as part of a group. Not only will you have fun, but every hour you aren’t at home running the heat is another hour you save on your electric or fuel bill this winter!
Hot-Water Bottles and Rice-Filled Socks
The hot-water bottle has been a trusted way of staying warm for generations. Rice-filled fabrics are a great way to stay warm. A few minutes in a microwave and you have a perfect jacket or blanket warmer.
Open Inside Doors
Of course, we aren’t talking about opening your home’s outer doors. Just as closing air vents affects how your home is heated, so do open or closed doors. By opening the doors to rooms that are warmer, you’ll allow for a greater exchange of heat between that room and the rest of the house. It isn’t a vast increase in relative warmth, but a few small changes here and there can lead to overall changes in your monthly bill.
This is an obvious problem. If any room or hallway is drafty, and you feel a chill blowing through, it’s not haunting. Drafts are a huge source of energy loss in homes. You can have stellar insulation and the best in energy-efficient heating systems and still be spending more on your utilities because of a drafty home. Locate cracks and crevices between doors and their frames. The same goes for windows and any other kind of exterior building openings. Once you’ve found the culprits, seal them up to keep warm air inside and cold air out.
This tactic is one that only applies to certain kinds of homes. Specifically, homes using radiators or floor vents. If some of the rooms in your home seem to have trouble staying warm while the rest of the house is cozy, check for the location of your vents. If any vent (or pipe radiators) are being blocked by heavy furniture, it’s time to move it. Heat radiates out from these sources and will be stopped by the presence of large objects. Many pieces of furniture will act as insulators against the rest of the room, trapping heat internally. Even if the room isn’t quite so cold, it’s best to check and move furniture if it’s blocking a vent. Keeping flammable fabrics (or boxes) near a heat source is dangerous!
Unless the sun is currently shining through the window, your windows are a prime source for heat loss. Glass is an excellent insulator, but a single pane of glass is not a good method of insulating against heat exchange from outside. Drawing the curtains closed across your windows will prevent substantial heat loss when the sun isn’t on that side of the house.
This one is easy to forget, especially since a fireplace is supposed to be a source of warmth. Your chimney is an open path to the outside. Closing the flue and any fireplace doors you may have can help to prevent heat loss, but they aren’t perfect. There’s been a recent uptick in the number of chimney balloons being sold. This is because they make up for issues not protected by a fireplace flue. Chimney balloons float up and out of sight to insulate and block warm air from rising out of the house. Just don’t forget to remove them before you use the fireplace.
Happy holidays! We hope you all stay warm this winter. If you happen to find yourself without heating, don’t hesitate to call Boulden Brothers. We work on all kinds of heating systems, from boilers to forced air furnaces!
Give us a call at (302) 368-3848 for any of your Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania home service needs — plumbing, electrical, HVAC, propane, and more!
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