Once the temperatures outside begin to drop, electric bills can start to soar. You don’t mind bumping the thermostat down a few degrees, but at the same time you need to keep your house comfortable for everyone living there. Here are some cost effective and easy ways to keep your house warmer through the upcoming winter.
Check for Leaky Windows and Doors
A draught is one of the most common causes of cold air sneaking in and robbing your house of the air that has been heating up from your radiator, fireplace, or wood burning stove. Before the temperatures drop, take some self-adhesive rubber seals and inspect each the windowsills and doors around your house. Even keyholes and pet doors can cause problems if you aren’t careful.
Schedule Your Thermostat Settings
It’s cheaper to start warming your house at a slightly lower temperature 30 minutes before you wake up than it is to crank the heat up high after you’ve gotten out from under the bedcovers. Boiler systems tend to heat at the same rate no matter what their setting is on, so it’s better to save some electricity and give yourself the gift of a warmer bedroom once it’s time to hop out of bed. Older systems tend to use up more energy, so consider updating your appliance if it’s more than 10 years old.
Open the Windows
Well, not the actual windows themselves. Just draw back the drapes to be sure to let the sunshine in through the glass. After all, it’s free! Once it starts to get darker outside, close your curtains to help insulate the heat that has accumulate in the room. The thicker the curtains, the better; they’re like having a cheap thermal lining to keep the warmth in.
Rearrange the Room
If your couch, recliner, or other favorite sofa is parked right in front of your radiator, move it. While it might feel comfortable while you’re sitting there, your furniture will be blocking the heat the rest of the time, making it more challenging to warm up the room.
Check your Roof
Approximately 1/4 of a house’s heat is lost through the roof. Pop into the attack to make sure you have at least 10 inches of insulation across all of your ceilings. Remember, heat rises. If there’s not enough insulation to keep it inside of the rooms below, it will float right out of your house!
Lower the Heat
Do you really need to have your thermostat turned up so high? Put on an extra layer or two and let the temperatures drop by a couple of degrees. Some experts say that keeping your dial set at 64 degrees (instead of 69) is all you need to see your power bill go down by 10%.
Leave the Oven Door Open
As long as you’re taking extra steps to be careful (and don’t have little ones running around) you should keep the oven door propped open after you’ve finished baking and you’ve turned your appliance off. It doesn’t have to be open the entire way, just a few inches will do. Otherwise, you’re keeping all of that heat holed up and unused.
Close the Doors
Are there rooms in your house that go unused, such as a guest bedroom or the basement? Keep them closed off, so that your heaters only have to work to warm the areas you’re living in day-in and day-out. Be sure to shut the vents as well, so you’re not working against the air flow going throughout the house.
Buy a Rug
Floorboards tend to lose heat in multi-floor buildings. Even if you don’t like having the floor covered for cleanliness sake, it’s a good idea to have a few thick rugs that come out during the winter. An added bonus is that they feel better on your feet when you’re walking around the house barefoot first thing in the morning.