Winter utility bills are a cause of concern in most households, a sad truth that we must admit to. Money seems to be flying out of your pocket when the harsh season comes, and in combination with all the expenses that come along during the holidays, most people struggle financially until the arrival of spring. There’s the aspect of environmental impact to take into consideration as well, certain methods to turn up the temperature indoors causing substantial and wasteful consumption of energy that is most likely produced in a non-friendly manner towards the environment. But there is good news as this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, existing smart changes that you can make and that will lead to a considerable lowering of costs without you having to make any sacrifices like preserve a lower temperature indoors, for example.
Inexpensive methods to warm up your home
- Find cheap alternatives – Your main means of warming up the house is most likely the culprit for the high utility bills you are confronted with when the snowy season comes. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot give it up and find smarter, budget-efficient alternative as there are plenty to pick from these days. Going tankless is effective as 30% to 50% less energy is consumed as opposed to standard water heaters. Solar heating systems are gaining ground massively as they are not only cheap to run and effective, but they boast an unparalleled Eco-friendliness as well.
- Insulate your house – Depending on the type of insulation you opt for and how much of it you actually need, upfront costs vary. But if you want to be 100% budget-smart, we recommend you go with tax deductible insulation. However you put it, insulation is still inexpensive and quite necessary, sparing you of other problems as the years pass as well. Its role is to keep the warm air indoors and the cold one out, the efficiency of this method being time-tested and approved by all who tried it.
- Plastic window treatments – Adding this insulation barrier that reduces heat loss through the windows can end up saving as much as 10% on heating costs. Best of all, plastic treatments are inexpensive to purchase, so you won’t need a tremendous budget upfront.
- Turn up humidity levels – Moist air retains heat considerably better than dry air does. The only issue is that winter impacts moisture levels in the air, drying it. Thus, you have to increase moisture levels indoors and keep them up throughout the cold season if you want to save money on the bills. There are, of course, health benefits to preserving proper humidity during winter as well, dry skin and irritated sinuses not being causes for concern anymore.
- Seal leaks – Costs can be reduced up to 20% if you tend to this minor and inexpensive issue. If there are any leaks in your house’s structure, seal them so that hot air won’t be able to escape. These leaks are usually found where wires and cables enter the house, around windows and doors, and even around electrical outlets.
Free methods and tips to preserve warmth indoors
While the aforementioned methods we discussed cost a few bucks upfront, the following are completely free. We recommend that you apply them in combination with what you learned up to this point to see a dramatic decrease in utility bill costs throughout the cold season.
- Be careful with your windows as a lot of heat loss can be attributed to them. You should open the shades of windows that are facing south during the day to let the sun rays enter the house and warm it up a bit – the difference made might not be huge, but it’s considerable nonetheless. As the sun sets, close the shades and make sure that you keep the shades closed throughout the day in windows that aren’t facing the sun as well.
- If there are certain rooms you do not use, turn the thermostat setting lower in them as energy is uselessly consumed to keep them at the same temperature with the rest of the house. Some heat is still needed, of course, just not as much as you need in the bedroom or living room, for example, rooms you use more frequently.
- You might have found it annoying when your mother nagged you to close the door behind you, but that piece of advice was smart indeed as closing the door keeps the heat inside the room. If you are sitting in the room, the temperature will go a few degrees up as your body is emitting heat naturally, and it would be a shame to let it all go to waste just because you couldn’t be bothered to close the door.
- Circulating the air inside the room with the help of a fan is a great idea as well as the warm air that usually tends to rise to the ceiling won’t be trapped there anymore but will rather circulate throughout the entire room to make it feel cozier.
- Our last piece of advice is to clean and clear vents and radiators so that the air will circulate freely throughout the house. When we talk about clearing them, we mean that you should make sure no furniture pieces or rugs are blocking the way. As for cleaning, you have to beware of the fact that when dust gathers in the vents and radiators, it not only threatens your health as you inevitably end up inhaling it, but it reduces their effectiveness as well, equal heat radiation being impossible.
Creating proper living conditions at home is your main concern, but when winter comes knocking at your door, dread settles at the thought of paying a ton of money to keep warm. There’s no discussion, you would pay as much as it takes to feel cozy at home, but this doesn’t mean that high expenses need to be involved necessarily. Find out here what are the methods you can take up to keep warm while reducing energy costs, and apply them to enjoy warmth and extra cash!