What’s your biggest household expense? If you stop and think about it, you’ll probably realize that electricity is one of your family’s largest expenditures. Unlike food or clothing, it’s not as simple as just setting a budget and sticking to it.
The appliance that’s responsible for most of your power use is your heater/furnace, and it’s pretty hard to live without that when the temperatures start to drop!
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can lighten the load on your home’s heating system and ultimately save some money. There are many you’ve probably already heard, but the following seven hacks aren’t quite as well known. Take a look and try them for yourself.
Set Ceiling Fans to Run Backwards
Photo by Ryan Abel
During the summer, you want your fans to push air down onto your living space to keep you cool. But in the winter it’s best to change your fan settings to spin in the opposite direction, which sucks cold air upward. This quick and easy trick can keep you warm and toasty with hardly any extra effort.
Go Ahead, Leave the (Oven) Door Open
Photo by Pomax
Anybody who’s baked a pie in the summer knows just how sweltering a hot oven can make an already hot house. What you may not have realized is that the same forces can work for you as well as against you. Do lots of baking in the winter, and leave the door open once you turn it off. The excess heat that normally would dissipate inside the oven does double duty by dispersing into your home and preventing you from having to run the heat.
Don’t Drain Hot Water
Similar to the oven concept, hot water from your showers and baths should never go to waste. Always plug the drain while showering, and never drain a hot tub of water. Letting the water cool to room temperature in the basin allows any residual heat to emanate throughout your living space, rather than be wasted down the drain.
Set Up Zone Heating
If you don’t use certain rooms of your home, why should you heat them? That’s the rationale behind the practice of zoned heating. You can accomplish greater efficiency by only heating the air that travels through rooms you use the most. Other rooms can be excluded by closing vents, doors, and other openings; some HVAC systems even have zone heating features built in!
Try This “DIY Double Glazing”
Double glazed and double paned windows do wonders for energy efficiency, but if you’ve got old windows and you’re trying to save money, it’s hard to justify such a pricey upgrade. There’s still something you can do though!
Try out this unique method of DIY’ing a double glazed window. It’s a little tricky, but it gives you an extra layer of air between your windows and living space, and it’s super cheap. Check out the video below to see how it works:
Make Your Own Thermal Curtains
Photo by Rebecca Landis
Additional insulation through thermal curtains can make for a cheap and easy way to boost heating efficiency – some sources say you can save up to 25% in heating costs! However, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to buy an expensive set of thermal curtains when you can simply make some yourself.
Just seek out a heavy, non-breathable fabric and pair it with some stylish curtain hooks/rods. You’ll be surprised at just how easy this tip can be.
Install Garage Door Insulation
If you have an attached garage, you’re probably losing considerable amounts of heat by leaving your garage doors uninsulated. There are pre-made kits as well as DIY options to suit any price range, so there’s really no excuse to keep letting heat escape through your garage. Definitely be sure to try this tip before the beginning of the winter and compare your bills from last season!
Do you have any winter efficiency tips that aren’t well known? Tell us in the comments or give us a shout on Facebook and Twitter to let us know.