Ways to Lower Your Home Costs This Winter
Home expenses tend to go up significantly in the winter for most homes. This is due to the obvious reason that heating the home becomes a necessity during the colder months. As the weather starts getting chilly and the need to stay indoors arises, so does the need to heat the home become a reality. Most people are torn between shivering the days and nights away and paying ballooned electricity or gas bills.
The good news is that those aren’t the only choices that you have. There are some ways you can achieve a warmer home during the winter to help you reduce your home expenses. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Turn down your thermostat
Most people view a thermostat as a device to set the heat at a constant temperature and then forget it and let it do the work. It is a good approach given that constant fiddling up the temperature controller can end up adding more money to the heating bill. However, having this mentality could mean that you are using more heat than you should. For instance, you don’t need a constant temperature if you are not home all the time, or in the rooms that are rarely used, or when you are sleeping. You can lower the temperature on your thermostats in such situations and save money on your heating bill.
- Maintain your heating system
HVAC systems become less efficient as they age. An older heating system will most likely use more energy and fuel as compared to a new or serviced heating system. It is important that you regularly service your heating system. Have your furnace inspected once a year to detect if there are any problems. You might also need to consider changing air filters often and especially at the beginning of the cold season. If your budget allows, it would be good to consider replacing your heating system with a more energy-efficient one.
- Layer up yourself
If you are used to wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts in the house during winter, you could be cranking up your thermostat more than you should be. Wintertime is a time to ditch the summer clothes and embrace heavy and warmer clothing. Wear pants, a sweater on top, and socks when going about your daily tasks. If you are cited watching TV or reading a book, throw a blanket over and curl up under it. Don’t forget to use a few more blankets on your bed when you sleep. Doing this will eliminate the need to set the thermostat too high.
- Let the sun in
You hardly see the sun during winter, but that is not to say that it is entirely gone. You can still catch some sun rays during the day. In this case, you need to make the most of these rays. Open the curtains or blinds during the day to let the rays inside the house through the windows. However, you need to close them up in time to prevent cold from getting in through the same route. In addition, if your windows are old, you could consider replacing them which can enhance the insulation from cold.
- Turn down the water heater
Many water heater thermostats come with a factory setting of 140 degrees. However, that temperature is a bit too high, and lowering it a bit can help you save a certain percentage on the heating expenses. You actually won’t even notice the difference if your water heats at 140 degrees or 120 degrees, but the 20 degrees difference sure gives justice to your energy bill.
- Seal up your home
A significant amount of heat gets lost through the walls and the roof. It would make your house warmer and increase your heating system efficiency if you managed to control this loss. You can achieve this by adding insulation to the walls and attic in your home. You might also need to consider double-glazing your windows for extra insulation.
- Use ceiling fan smartly
An interesting way to warm up your home is turning your ceiling fan to operate in a clockwise direction at a low speed. In a normal situation, the fan works in an anticlockwise motion to create a cool breeze in a room. Doing the reverse allows the fan to move the hot air that has risen from up there downwards, heating the living spaces.
As seen above, there are several ways that you can lower your energy bill in the winter. You don’t have to get accustomed to paying huge home expenses every winter. Use the above tips to shake up things this winter and see the difference.
About The Author: Ramona Hartley is an experienced interior designer with a passion for writing and sharing content based on my experiences. She writes for several columns, mainly niched in architecture, interior and exterior design.
Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash
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