Lowering your bills: Our focus on heat
Monthly utilities are a part of everyday living. Your electricity bill, your heating bill, and your water bill will come whether you paid attention that month to them or not. Many people ignore these bills until it’s too late, and they’ve climbed well up into the outrageous.
This article will encourage you to pay attention to your utilities and identify tips and tricks to keep your heating bill significantly lower. There’s a lot of things people do every day that drives their heating bill up, and we’d like to see people empowered to stop.
Pay attention to the system that heats the house
Using firewood makes a big difference to natural gas, and using a heater will change the bill just as much as natural gas would. People often don’t think about the method their house is getting heated, but the truth is a lot of us could afford to be more natural in how we collect heat (thus saving on the bill for forced heating).
Examine the heating system your house currently operates on, and if you have control over it, examine alternative systems. If you don’t, look into ways to maximize the heat that is getting in (opening the curtains during peak sunny hours for example).
This goes for home purchases too. When you’re looking at a home, ask about the system that heats it. Heating costs can be an absolute nightmare on a poorly insulated house, or one set up to rely totally on forced air. This should factor into your purchasing decisions (even if it isn’t the deciding factor).
Insulation, don’t skimp on it
Insulation is the closest thing to free heat that you will get, as it seals heat into a room. If you’re building or remodeling, don’t ignore your insulation needs. If you’re having trouble with heating bills, update your window’s seal. Pay attention to how well your window coverings are helping (or not) with keeping the heat in.
The bottom line here is that the more insulated your home is, the lower your heating bill will be. Pay attention to what you’re currently doing, and what you could be doing, to keep the heat.
Be efficient about your usage
If you know the house is going to be empty all day, why on earth would you leave the heater turned up? Turn it down, and turn it up when you get in. Or purchase an efficiency timer, and program your schedule into it.
Paying attention to when the house needs to be heated is a great way to save cash, as it doesn’t involve you being colder at all – merely the empty house.
Using cold water where possible
The hot water still uses heat to get that way, be mindful of your hot water usage as much as you can. Boil water from cool water, wash in cold water when possible, and take a hot bath instead of a long shower.
Hot water heaters should always be maintained. Look after your water heater and watch it look after your bills.
If you’ve noticed a draft, sensed a leak, or otherwise can tell your heating isn’t working right, look into it! Sometimes the pipes just need to be supported with extra insulation, sometimes they actually need repairs. Whatever they need, if pipes are not taken care of, they will drive your heating bill up exponentially just by trying to do their job.
Is the house cold, or are you cold?
People who feel cold frequently make comments like “this house is freezing” or “what on earth is the thermostat at”, when what they really mean is “I’m cold”. The difference? Some comments blame the house and result in turning the heat up, while others place the onus on the person (and result in getting a jumper, or blanket). You can save a lot of money by grabbing a blanket instead of driving up the thermostat, or by uncovering the vents so that the air can freely move and heat easier.
The reality of heating
Most people aren’t currently keeping their heating utility bills as low as they could be. By being mindful of your usage and being efficient with the natural tools that your home provides, you can save a significant amount of money. Grabbing a jumper instead of turning up the thermostat can make a real difference on utilities. Start paying attention to your usage today and watch your bills drop. Get those kids wearing track pants, socks and a light jumper in the house too!
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