6 Ways to Cut Heating Costs on a Budget
When people think of cutting costs they tend to think BIG with options like replacing windows and new insulation. Although those are great solutions, the almighty dollar is elusive nowadays and some people just can’t afford the upfront investment. Here are 6 ways to save on heating with a low budget.
Re-think Exhaust Fans
Whether it’s a kitchen or a bathroom, it is important to keep in mind that when an exhaust fan is running, it is pulling heated air from the space. While that doesn’t seem to be a big deal, it means that you are left with cooler air that needs to be heated. With that in mind, use the exhaust fan as little as possible to increase your savings.
Most people know to keep objects off or away from radiators and baseboards in order to provide even heat distribution, but how often do you keep them clean? Believe it or not, the dust and dirt that collects on these devices act as an insulator, which inhibits heat transfer into the room. So if it’s feeling a little drafty and you can’t remember the last time you wiped down the radiator, chances are you’re due for a good cleaning. *Note, with fin-tube baseboard; be careful not to bend the fins over while cleaning.
Let the Sun Shine
If I told you Mother Nature wanted to help you with your heating bill, would you believe me? During the day open the drapes on the sunny side of your home to take advantage of the solar energy gain. The added energy you collect from the Sun will satisfy the boiler’s call for heat and cut back on consumption. To really capitalize on this method, remove any shrubbery that might block sunlight. Remember to close the drapes at night so that heat doesn’t escape.
Yes, we all love a long hot shower, but the more water you consume, the more energy it takes to reheat the tank. By taking a shorter shower with a low-flow showerhead, you can significantly cut back on hot water consumption. If you’re feeling really ambitious, another easy way to save is by turning off the water while lathering up and resuming water flow when rinsing off.
Shut the Flue Up
Do you own a fire place? If so, then it’s always a good idea to keep the flue damper on your fireplace closed when it is not in use. An open damper is like an open window, it allows large amounts of heat to escape, hence increasing your heating costs. Remember you want to heat your home not the outdoors.
Feel & Seal
Take a moment to go around your home and inspect for any gaps where heat might be escaping. By hovering your hand over surfaces like windows and doors, you will be able identify areas where there is heat loss. If you can feel cold air, then it’s time to seal. If the gaps are small simply apply caulk, if it’s major you may need to consider replacing altogether.