For many countries, it is speeding towards summer, and the warmer weather can put these worries out of your mind. But winter eventually comes for almost everyone, and with the climbing prices of energy, it has never been more important than now to ensure you keep the heat in!
Keeping the heat in your home might mean you need to make a couple of adjustments, but ultimately you’ll have a cozier home and help to reduce some of the costs associated with a warm home.
So where do you start?
No matter how small, drafts will pull hot air out of your home and let cold air leak in. It doesn’t take long for a single small leak to drastically reduce your home’s temperature by a degree or two. The fight to keep the temperature up is going to get expensive.
Take some time to check each of the doors and windows in the home, and wherever you feel gaps, you can plug them with draft excluders or rolled towels (for a budget-friendly option. Alternatively, if you have more than a few gaps, a replacement from Everett Window can be the best thing to do.
Do you have your large furniture, like sofas, snuggled up to the radiator? Or perhaps other things blocking them? You might not realize it but radiators need room to push the heat out into the room. Anything that is rested against them is going to soak up the heat, and the rest of the room won’t get the benefit.
Pull furniture away from all vents and radiators by a few inches, and you’ll see a difference, and the best part is that it is free to do!
Many homes have a ceiling fan, but not all homes are making the most of them. In the summer, you have your fan set to cool the room, but yours might have a switch that can change the direction and push heat back down into the room. Since heat rises, this is a great and free way to get it back down to the room.
If your ceiling fan doesn’t have the option to change the direction, then it is a good idea to leave it off unless the room feels stuffy.
There is nothing as lovely as stepping into a warm and welcoming home after being out in the cold all day – but that comes with a cost. If you have an old timer thermostat, make sure that you are using it correctly. And, if you don’t have a timer, then it can be a good idea to get one installed.
Putting your thermostat on a timer means you will be able to have your home heated only exactly when you need it, but more importantly, it won’t be trying to climb from cold (when no one is home) to warm within a short space of time – burning through your energy.
Instead you can use a smart timer to help keep your home at a steady temperature, and avoid using more energy than you have to achieve it.
A general tip for the thermostat is to lower it by a few degrees too. As little as turning it down by 4 degrees can see you saving up to 12% on your heating bill. Get your cozy jumpers and socks out to compensate for tuning it down.
As winter rolls around, hot water usage starts to increase and it’s time to start thinking about water heater repairs. Where possible, keep baths to a minimum and try to stick to timed showers. Check your water heater’s temperature, and lower it by about 20 degrees; this will see you with a reasonable saving. Keep in mind that a bath uses something like 25 gallons of hot/warm water, while a shower will use about 10 gallons.
Changing the temperature of your water heater is another change that costs nothing but will positively impact what you are trying to achieve.
Aside from checking any drafts from the door, another tip that costs nothing is to close the doors. While you will want some air movement to keep the air quality good in the home, it is more beneficial to close the door and keep the heat in most of the time.
Any doors that lead to hallways or spaces that don’t have a radiator should be of particular concern – and are the ideal place for door snakes or rolled towels.
There are plenty of things that you can do, many of which are free, to help improve the energy efficiency of your home, and if you’re on a mission to maximize your savings, read this: How To Reduce Your Energy Bills In 2023 « THE FRUGAL MATERIALIST | Interior Design for Less.