Posts Tagged ‘maximizing heat’

Stop covering your vents!

 

With reports of a cold winter, and rising heat costs, a few tips to keep your heating bill down never hurt anyone. Turning down the thermostat and water heater a few degrees is a good start, but there are other tips that can really help save you money in the long haul.

  • Cover your feet. Cold feet are a good way to make your whole body feel cold. Invest in a good pair of socks or slippers to make it through the winter.
  • Keep blankets around. Whether watching TV, reading a book, etc., keep a blanket around for quick heat instead of turning up your thermostat.
  • Turn it down when you aren’t there. You can save a lot of money by turning down your thermostat when you aren’t home.
  • Check for leaks. A major way that people end up losing heat is from cracks around their windows or doors, or from an inefficient heater. Have someone come out and check your device before winter gets really underway, and light a candle and move towards windows and doors. If the smoke moves horizontal, you have spotted an air leak.
  • Drapes and blinds. If it’s sunny outside, leave them open, and if it’s cloudy and/or dark, leave them closed. Sunlight is your friend, but if there is no sun, you are probably just going to lose the heat out the window.
  • Close the vents. Make sure you close the vents in the rooms you don’t use, and then close the door to seal off those rooms so heat isn’t escaping into them.
  • Use fans sparingly. A kitchen and/or bathroom fan can dispel heat pretty quickly. Either don’t use them at all or turn them off as soon as the job is done.
  • Check your vents. Make sure a rug or desk isn’t covering the vent and keeping valuable warm air from spreading throughout the house. Make sure the vents are completely unobstructed.

Those are free fixes, but there are some low-cost fixes that will help in the long run to save you money as well:

  • Buy a smart thermostat. Say you forget to turn down your thermostat when you leave; well, you can program this thermostat to turn down at certain times of the day when no one is ever there. They cost anywhere from $40 to $100, but you will make that money back, and more.
  • Buy a low-flow shower head. These use 25-50% less hot water, which will save money on BOTH your water and electricity bill.
  • Replace the air filter. At a cost of $3-$15, this is such a common problem that people don’t fix, and it can cost them up to $400 by having clogged air ducts. They should be changed monthly.
  • Insulation. By putting insulation in important places (e.g. the attic), you can keep heat from escaping and it will help recirculate the warm air.

And finally, if you haven’t bought high-efficiency light bulbs, do it ASAP! They save you A LOT on your power bill, and they are better for the environment!

 

Replace all your old light bulbs with these, and just see what happens to your electricity bill. I dare you.

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