Home Heating Tips
With heating costs rising through the roof, the smart option is to start looking into ways to cut your heating needs and heating costs. The surefire way to do this is by switching off your central heater and instead investing in some portable electric space heaters for the areas that you expect to be in most - like your bedroom and your living room or office. This way you're not running up your heating bill by heating the entire home, but rather you're focusing on the area that you're actually using.
- Some areas have very low gas prices. In other places home heating oil is reasonable. Electricity may be the energy source most prevalent where you live, and parts of the world have little access to any inexpensive fuels. Find out what is the best for you to use. Heat your home with the energy that is cheapest in your area.
- Consider heating your home with the sun's help. Energy from solar panels or using solar heat to supplement your normal heating source is cost effective in most parts of the world. The initial cost may seem higher, but over the long run it costs the least and many energy hungry areas provide generous tax rebates for installing solar panels.
- If wood is plentiful where you live, have a professional install a wood burning stove.
Regulating the Thermostat
In the spring and fall, turn off the heat unless the temperature outside gets below freezing.Temperature variations near the thermostat will affect the whole house. Be sure your thermostat is located in an area that is not too cold or hot.
Install an automatic timer to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. If it seems chilly - put on a sweater.
Wear warm layered clothing indoors during cold weather. Some of the new synthetics are the best for thermal layering.
Windows and Doors
- Use storm or thermal windows in colder areas. The layer of air between the windows acts as insulation and helps keep the heat inside where you want it.
- Don't just concentrate on the windows - install storm doors before the cold weather arrives.
- Open up those draperies and shades in winter to let in the heat from the sunshine. If you're worried about fading the furniture - use a slipcover.
- Keep trees from blocking the suns rays into your house. Prune any branches that block the sunlight.
- If you've installed awning to block the sun in the summer make sure you take them off before the cold weather hits. You want the energy provided by sun-exposed windows during winter months - take full advantage of those warming rays on your windows.
- Keep windows closed during cold weather, but be careful to "air out the house" on a regular basis to avoid buildup of any toxins.
- Check to see that glass in all windows have fresh putty. If the putty in your windows is dry and cracked you may want to consider adding some newer sealant. Also seal any visible cracks with weather-stripping or cloth - newspapers will do if you're desperate. Some folks just staple a sheet of clear plastic tarp over very old windows for the winter.
Walls and Floors
- Invest in a wall heater, which can be installed remotely and be regulated through a thermostat.
- In colder areas it makes sense to move furniture away from any exterior walls. Putting some space between you and the cold walls makes the house seem warmer and leaving room for the air to move around actually makes it warmer.
- Think about upgrading the insulation in your home. If you haven't already, insulate your attic and all outside walls.
- Insulate floors over unheated spaces such as your basement, any crawl spaces and your garage. You actually lose more heat through poorly insulated floor spaces and basements in the average house than through drafty doors and windows.
- Consider getting an electric baseboard heater, which offers a clean, safe and reliable heat source for individual rooms when your central heating system isn't adequate.
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