As temperatures begin to take a dip, you’ll be looking for more ways to keep the house warm and cozy. Unfortunately, that means a spike in your heating bill. If you’re looking at ways to cut back on heating, here are ten unexpected ways to keep your house warm and your pockets full.
Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a money saver with air-conditioning. It allows you to preset temperatures at different times during the day so you can regulate your air-conditioning and heat. This way, you don’t have to keep your home at 67 degrees throughout. Instead, you can set the setting to low when you’re sleeping or away and switch it up to higher at other times of the day. Regulating heat can reduce your bills, giving you savings up to 10 to 20% in your household bill.
Keep in mind never to use a programmable thermostat with heating pumps. You can install a new thermostat on your own but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guide.
Checking the spin on ceiling fans
Fans are a great addition to any home. If you have a dual rotating fan, it helps cool the house down during summer and warms it up during winter. During the summer, set your ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise. This will help create a downdraft that makes a natural, cooling breeze. During the winter, set it clockwise to produce the opposite effect- an updraft to circulate warm air around the room.
Don’t block vents and radiators
Each time you have a couch, chair, bed, cabinet, shelf or bed blocking the heater, it will lead to colder rooms because these items block the heat flow into the room. Blocking a supply or return vent only results in a pressure imbalance, leading to a disruption in heat flow. It’s a waste of money since you’ll be paying for high heating costs but not receiving the warmth and heat you’re meant to be getting.
Minimize using a fireplace
A fireplace is beautiful, warm and inviting in any home. However, when not in use, make sure your fireplace flue is closed when you’re not using it. An open fireplace damper releases the same amount of heated air to escape up the chimney.
It’s also a good idea to reduce the number of times you use the fireplace. For instance, light it up only at night and not throughout the day. A roaring fireplace releases up to 20,000-cubic feet of heated air every hour. While it is warming, hot air that goes up is replaced by cold air pulled back into different parts of the house.
Close the door
It’s a simple way to make sure there’s no draft- close the door. Light a match and see the rising hot air drawing nearby cooler air into the match flame. The rising hot air will pull cold air from the outside and channel it into a house in a heated building. This principle is called a stack effect. To prevent this from happening in your home, you need to cut down on spaces where the cold air can enter. The main culprit would be door gaps. Seal this gap by switching to interior doors or using a cloth sack to cover the gaps.
Installing a door sweep
Speaking of sealing doors, you can also use a draft-defeating nylon door sweep. This is a long, thin vinyl strip installed at the bottom edge of the door. You can cut this strip to fit the length of your door and either fix it using wood screws or wood glue. This strip can be used on any interior door. You can use rubber garage door gaskets for garage doors and fix them using galvanized roofing nails.
Make full use of drapes
Thermal blackout curtains are great for a home. However, if you have a sunny day, open the curtains and let the sunshine in. Before sunset, close them because it can help regulate the warmth in the room. Every square foot of window insulated at night will save you about 1.5 cubic feet of gas a year. This means that insulating curtains are a good investment as it pays for themselves, plus it adds the comfort factor to a home.
Get rid of rapid cycling
Rapid cycling is when a heating system fires on and off. Electronic setback thermostats are activated when it senses a 1 degree to 1.5-degree drop in temperature. If the thermostat is programmed to be less than 1 degree, the rapid cycling function is activated, firing heat every 1 to three minutes to maintain a comfortable temperature. This method is a waste of money because of the near-constant room temperature maintained by some thermostats.
To prevent bursts of energy, you can regulate the cycle by setting the thermostat one notch higher. Allow the process to go on for 24 hours before readjusting again.
Keep your oven door open
This is very unconventional, but it does help make good use of a hot oven and warm a house. When you’re done baking, turn the oven off but leave the oven door open. The heat from the oven will flow into the kitchen and hopefully warm up the surrounding parts of the home. Make sure the kitchen is secure, and you don’t have children or pets running around; otherwise, it would be dangerous.
Using rugs and carpets
Rugs and carpets keep the home comfortable, cozy and warm. It also adds style and flair to any room. So if you’re looking for an affordable and stylish way to warm your home, consider covering cold tiled or hardwood floors with rugs and carpets. When you don’t need rugs and carpets during the summer months, get them cleaned by a domestic cleaning agency.
Use steam from the shower
This method works well during autumn when you’re not ready to bring out the extensive heating mechanisms but want a quick fix to warm a room. If possible, leave the bathroom door open when you shower so you can allow the hot steam to travel throughout the house. It can help cut down on dry cold air in the home.