4 Simple Ways to Save on Home Heating
When the winter rolls around, it can be hard to figure out how to efficiently keep a home warm without breaking the bank. Many older homes are drafty, with ancient heating systems in place that don’t make it any easier to keep warm when the cold weather hits. What’s worse, by the time many homeowners go outside to winter-proof their homes, the worst of the weather has already struck. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your home warm before the worst of winter hits and, most importantly, without racking up a huge heat bill. Here are just a few ways to keep your home comfortable even in the harshest weather.
1. Replace Weather Stripping and Caulking
Before the harsh weather starts, the best way to prevent damage or cold air slipping in is to check every external opening for gaps or worn weather stripping. Many windows on older houses will need to be sealed every winter if they’re not being swapped out for storm windows. Make sure to check the caulking on each window for any potential air gaps.
If there’s room inside, try to insulate the inner panels if you haven’t already. While you’re checking the windows for leaks, it’s also a good idea to look around for weak spots or any other signs of age. If your home is more than 20 years old and came with its current windows, it might be time to invest in new ones for the entire house. This option, while costly, will save money in the long run, and prevent your home from being further damaged by inclement weather.
2. Seal Up All Household Drafts
Homes aren’t just vulnerable to weather from the outside. All over your home, you can find little cracks and crevices where cold air might be escaping in. For instance, with many electrical sockets, the drilled holes are a bit too wide around the box. If the box itself is not insulated, this can lead to cold air getting through. Remove the outer protective shield on each outlet to see if there is room to insulate. Similarly, if you have a home with a fireplace and chimney, make sure it’s properly insulated and not a source of cold air blowing into the home.
3. Buy a Portable Heater
When you ThinkHeat, you tend to think about home-wide heating systems and thermostats. However, using a portable or space heater in smaller rooms around the house can serve as a perfect money-saving tool in the winter. While not ideal for larger spaces, space heaters can still be great for heating up a room in a very short amount of time. After half an hour or so use, the heater can then be turned off. If your home is properly sealed, you should be able to benefit from that heat for quite some time. This is a great option for smaller bedrooms when you don’t want the thermostat on high all through the night. Portable heaters are also a great option for rooms that tend to suffer from greater exposure to drafts and weak spots, like bathrooms and small studios. If you’re someone who works from home most of the time, it’s a great idea to have a few space heaters around the house for use in smaller areas.
4. Update Your Thermostat System
When you’ve tried everything else, it might be time to look at updating your thermostat. Though making the switch to a digital thermostat might seem like a large cost upfront, manual thermostats have been shown to cost much more money in the long term when compared to their programmable counterparts. With many digital thermostats, you can control the temperature of your home remotely, making it easy for you to refrain from wasting heat and resources on an empty house. Additionally, the newer models can be purchased starting from about $25 upward.
It’s a small cost to pay for the amount of control a programmable thermostat affords you. Smart thermostats are also capable of “learning” your home’s environment, re-programming itself to the needs of your household without your intervention. An option like The Nest can eventually pick up on different sensory input and figure out how to regulate your heating and cooling systems on its own, and grows more sophisticated the longer you use it. This is a great option for adults and families who spend most of their days outside the home at work or school.