Heating your home can require a lot of energy, which can easily get very expensive, very quickly. It can feel like a luxury sometimes, but keeping your home toasty and warm doesn’t have to be if you play your cards right. With some small home improvements and the choice of the right heating solutions for your space, you can keep your home warm through the winter for a lot less than you think.
Is it hot in here?
As a general rule, the warmer you try to keep your home, the more energy is required. Even lowering the thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees every few hours will make a difference to your heating bill over the long term. You’d be surprised how low you can keep your thermostat and still take the edge off the cold. There’s no need to suffer in your own home, but sacrificing being able to walk around the house in jeans and a t-shirt, and opting to put on more layers of clothing, makes a difference.
Get with the program
These days, most home heating systems have very sophisticated programmable functions. If you curl up one evening with the manual and think about your household schedule, you can make sure that you’re never heating your home while there’s no one in it to feel the benefit, or while you’re safely tucked up in bed. That way, you won't be wasting energy and money just because you’ve been a bit forgetful, and you can feel better about heating your home when you do need it.
One space at a time
Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning is a great choice if you’re looking for a way to isolate areas of your home and heat it room by room. This means that you won’t be heating more space than you regularly use, which can save a lot of energy. It’s reliable and long lasting, so you won’t have to spend a lot of money on repairs and maintenance. You can also use it to keep your home cool in summer months.
A little bit alternative
A great way to reduce your energy bills is to find alternative ways to heat your home. Gas fires can look very stylish, and throw off a great deal of heat in the area they are positioned. It is best to get a home heating specialist to come in and analyse what kind of gas fire would optimise its heating potential for your space.
Wood fires are also a lovely option, providing cosy warmth to your living space, and encouraging a place for the family to commune around. Free standing, sealed wood fires retain their heat for a long time and produce much more heat with less wood, so they are much more efficient than open fires.
There are lots of little ways you can keep your home a little warmer without cranking up the thermostat. Keep your blinds or curtains open during the day to let the sunshine in, then close them up at night to ensure that you’ve trapped in the heat. Block all drafts, whether it’s under doors or between the window frames. Use caulk inside and outside the frames, and make sure the weather stripping around the frames isn’t old and cracked and in need of replacement. Drafts will suck the warmth out of any home, no matter how high you’ve got the heating set.
There are many ways to save energy (and money) when heating your home. They don’t all have to involve a complete overhaul of your home heating system, although in the long run this can sometimes be the smartest option, saving you money and adding value to your home. Even smaller, short term changes that you make to the efficiency of your home will make an impact, and will allow you to more easily heat your home. As well as the obvious comfort and environmental benefits, there’s a good chance you’ll also get the financial benefit of saving energy in your home.
If you’re looking to further boost the money that you can save on your energy bills, switching suppliers can also be particularly effective – especially if you haven’t done so in some time. Click here to run a comparison of the energy market.
Don Curnow is owner of Air and Water Residential and has worked in the air conditioning and heating industry for 20 years. To keep up to date with their latest articles connect on Twitter or Facebook.