Nothing sounds as good on a cold winter’s day than the idea of staying indoors, comfortable and cozy, thanks to your home’s heating system. You crank it up, settle in–and then the other shoe drops. You get the heating bill or find that you need to schedule a heating oil delivery sooner than expected. Home heating is typically one of the most significant utility expenses you face as a homeowner. Heat often makes up more than a whopping 40% of a utility bill.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of heating fuel your household uses, improve the efficiency of your heating system and save money on heat. When it comes to heat, Habberjam has you covered! Here are some ways that we recommend you put into place to save money on heating.
1. Bundle Up
Grab that sweater and those fuzzy wool socks! The more clothing you wear in the winter, the less you need to crank up the heat in your home. Aim for more substantial fabrics like wool pants or flannel shirts. It is also a good idea not to go around the house barefoot during the winter. A pair of cozy socks or comfy slippers will warm up your feet and keep the rest of your body warm, too. When lounging around the house at night, watching television, or reading a book, curl up under a blanket to keep warm without turning up the heat. It is also a good idea to put an extra blanket or two on your bed so that you can comfortably turn your thermostat down while you sleep.
2. Let the Sun Heat Things Up
The days are shorter, so you might see less of the sun during the winter, but it is not gone entirely. You can use the heat from the sun’s rays to help warm your home during the daytime. If you have shades, blinds or curtains, keep them wide open on sunny days to maximize the sun’s warmth. However, remember to close the curtains or blinds at night to provide another layer of insulation against the windows, which is a common course of heat loss.
3. Close off Unused Rooms
Triage time! Not all rooms are created equal. Depending on the size of your home and how many people live in it, you might have some extra rooms that you hardly or never use. There is no need to heat the rarely-used guest room or the basement storage room. To save money on your heating bill, close the door to any areas you do not use regularly. You might also want to close any vents in the rooms you do not use so that warm air from the ducts does not travel to them. To effectively seal off those rooms, tuck a towel or draft blocker at the base of the door. However, be smart: Do not let unused rooms get too cold, primarily if water pipes are located in the walls. Water damage is no joke. While you do not need to heat the rooms you are not using to 20 degrees. You also do not want them to get colder than approximately 5 degrees, so your pipes do not freeze.
4. Turn the Thermostat Down
Get down! Adjusting your thermostat can lead to a dramatic drop in your heating bills. Lowering the thermostat by up to 5 degrees can help you save up to 10% annually on heating. Some of the best times to turn down your thermostat are at bedtime and before you leave for work in the morning (the times when there is little to no activity in your home). Try sleeping with the temperature set around 17 degrees Celcius. When you leave for work, you might want to lower the heat to 17 or even cooler, as long as no one will be home during the day. If you have programmable thermostats, take advantage of the timing function to kick the heat back on 30 minutes before you wake up or come home.
5. Service Your Heating Systems
Regular servicing your heating system will help it work efficiently, saving you money on your heating bills and requiring less heating fuel. It can be a good idea to sign up for a service agreement for your heating system. The agreement will include an annual tune-up and maintenance inspection of your home’s heating system. The tune-up will keep your heating system up and humming along at its best. Regular review of your system by a qualified team of experts means you are more likely to catch minor issues early and fix them before they need more extensive repairs or even replacement. You’ll save money–and many headaches–in the long run.
6. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you want to take things to the next level and have some money in your budget to spend, you might consider installing a smart thermostat at home. A smart thermostat learns your preferences and begins to adjust the temperature for you based on when you are home or when you are in bed. Instead of having to remember to turn down the thermostat at night, you can be assured that it will lower the temperature for you. There are many models to choose from, and an expert from Habberjam will be happy to help you navigate the options.
Although you might have heard that you sometimes need to spend money to save money, as we showed with these tips, you often do not have to spend any money at all when it comes to ways to save on heating. You can do several free things to help lower your bill for the inevitable costs of upgrading your system, maintaining your heaters, or repairing your current setup, finding the right experts to service your home.
At Habberjam, our specialized heating team has over ten years of experience in building new homes. We are trained on conventional heating and hi-velocity systems, indoor air quality services, and heat-loss audits. Give us a shout, and let’s see how we can put our expertise to work for you.