How to Save Money on Heating
If you do not want to spend a lot of money on your utility bills this winter, then you should equip yourself with knowledge on how to save money on heating costs. As you know, the winter season could mean paying for expensive bills and a big portion of this goes to heating. If you are trying to save funds to build a new home, then this may not be a good thing.
So spend some time to tour your entire house and see if there are any problem areas that need to be fixed in order to cut down your utility bills, more particularly the heating expenses. Here are ways to help you lower your heating bill.
Adjust your Door Thresholds
If you are able to see daylight right under your house’ front door, then this could mean that you are losing some indoor air, which you have paid for in order to heat. If your door is not connected well to the threshold, then the air could be going out and this means a waste of money.
Some door thresholds usually come with four to five screws that will give you an option to adjust the height in order to eliminate gaps. You can turn the screws in the counter clockwise direction in order to lift the threshold until such time that the daylight will be almost gone. A little light in some corners is okay, however, avoid raising the threshold high enough that it could interfere with the opening and closing of your door.
Eliminate Drafts All Over the Electrical Boxes
The electrical boxes that are in your exterior walls are usually drafty since the insulation is not always placed right around or behind them properly. You should stop the air from flowing all over the electrical box in order to save on heating.
So to address the leaks, take off the cover plates and then with the use of acrylic latex caulk, fill the small gaps all over the boxes. For much bigger gaps, you can make use of a foam sealant. After that, place a foam gasket above the switch or outlet and then replace the cover plate.
Plug Holes within Exterior Walls
Gas lines, pipes, as well as electrical cables that get into your house will usually have gaps all over them that may have been filled haphazardly with certain kind of caulk. However, the caulk may have peeled off or have developed some cracks. These gaps will then allow air from the outside and can serve as entry points for mice and some insects.
Therefore, seal all these gaps with the use of expanding foam. As for water pipes that are below the sink, you can unscrew and then pull the ring back and caulk all over the pipe.
Purchase a Portable Heater
Putting a space heater on the areas where you and your family will often hang out, such as in the living room, is also a practical way to save money. But when you use portable heater, make sure to turn the furnace temperature down. The other areas in the house will remain cool, except for the living room and this could save you as much as 3% on heating cost for a temperature below 70 Fahrenheit, but provided that you turn the furnace down.
This may require buying a new heater and using electricity, but it is still a more practical choice. Portable heaters usually cost around $30 while an electric heater with 1500 watts could cost you 14 cents for every hour of usage. As such, the savings from reducing the furnace temperature can offset the overall cost of using the portable space heater.
Cover Windows and Doors with Plastic Film
The windows in your house is said to account for up to 25% of heat loss. Covering these windows as well as the doors in your patio with a clear plastic film can greatly minimize heat loss. By using the plastic film alone can save you money on electricity, particularly your heating bill. The transparent film is cheap and if you install it correctly, no one will be able to notice it and when springtime comes, the film can be easily removed.
Keep the Warm Air from Escaping Through the Chimney
The bad thing about fireplaces is that if they are not in use, they could let warm indoor air to escape through the chimney. Even if the chimney flue is closed off, there is still warm air that can get away.
The best solution to this is to block off the flow of air with the use of an inflatable chimney balloon. These balloons can be bought at various online stores and only cost around $50 each. Simply blow the balloon and stick them on the chimney. Make sure to take it off before you start fire as it might fill the house with smoke.
Insulate the Attic Access Door
Even on attics that are well insulated, the door may not be insulated properly and thus, warm air would be able to escape out of the attic latch. And if your door is warped and that something obstructs its opening, it will not lie flat, which allows air to leak towards the attic.
To ensure that the door will be able to block the flow of air, attach fiberglass insulation with the use of adhesives into the access door. If the door will not lie flat, make use of a latch bolt to close it tightly.
Seal All Air Leaks at the Ductwork
Spend some time to inspect the ductwork that you can access through the attic or basement. Look for any areas where the ducts might have pulled apart at the corners and seams.
According to experts, an average home that has forced air heating is said to lose up to 30 percent of air, which moves within the system and goes out of the leaks and holes, as well as poorly connected ducts. The best way to address this is to place a mastic sealant or a metal tape right above any of these leaks in order to seal them.
Tune Up the Furnace and the Gas Fireplace
You can do a service call to tune up your furnace and gas fireplace. This should cost around $100, but you can make it up in the long run through efficient heating that can greatly lower your bills, while also preserving the overall life of your furnace. You might also notice it producing a much larger flame that will throw more heat out from the gas fireplace.
Lock Windows and Doors
If you have noticed, when you lock your windows, you can feel them pushing altogether more tightly. This can surely make a huge difference on your heating bill and is one of the best ways to save. Remember that even if the windows and doors of your house are closed, they may not be pressed tightly against the weather-stripping unless they are locked, which could allow the cold air outside to get into your home. So make it habit to lock all your windows and doors during winter to save on heating.