Millions of people are becoming anxious about how to pay off their bills in the coming months due to rising energy and gas prices. Though it’s not realistic to completely eliminate the costs of staying warm, there are some cost-saving strategies to consider.
The following tips aren’t intended to replace an entire heating system, but rather reduce the amount of time they are used.
An excellent option for heating an area or a room without having to worry about the cost of heating an entire home is a space heater. It’s common for people to follow a pattern in their daily routine. A bedroom may only be used at night, a kitchen during dinner, and a living room at night. The bedroom may not need to be heated during the workday, the kitchen at night, or the office during the weekend.
You can save money by having a space heater, or a few space heaters. In a typical 2,000-square-foot house, it costs about $1.00 per hour to heat. By contrast, a typical 1,500-watt space heater costs about 15 cents an hour. It would take seven space heaters running simultaneously to cost more than a central heater.
A common strategy is to have two space heaters; one in the room where you are now, and one in the room where you will be next. During the evening while relaxing in the living room, someone may want to run one in the living room and one in the bedroom.
Reverse the Direction of Ceiling Fans
Did you know that ceiling fans can be operated in either direction? Ceiling fans have blades that have a slight angle to them. It may be common knowledge that one direction cools the air, but did you know that the other can actually heat it?
The temperature differences may not be drastic, but warm air rises to the top of the room. As the ceiling fan rotates in the opposite direction, the “cooling air” is pushed towards the ceiling, which pushes the warm air to circulate around the room.
Eventually, the air does hit a near equilibrium, but if it buys an extra hour or two of not needing to have the heater on, it adds up over time.
Classic Blanket Strategy
Having blankets around the house can save a great deal of money, no matter how simple it may seem. This is especially true in scenarios where turning on the heater is inconvenient. Consider this: Would you rather turn on the heater while lying on the couch, or would you rather cover yourself with a soft blanket? The answer is obvious.
There is more to the blanket strategy than just blankets. Keep a pair of socks or slippers under the couch or hang a sweater in different closets to be easily accessible.
Cover Doorways and Windows
There is no faster way to lose heat than to have an opening in the house that can be exposed to the cold outside air. Small cracks under doors or windows can quickly cool an entire house a few degrees.
Covering doorways and windows leading outside with blankets or towels can keep the heat inside and reduce the amount of time the heater has to run. This is still a good idea even if there is no draft.
Heat is naturally drawn out of the house. By limiting this possibility, heat is forced to stay inside. There are also permanent fixes to this including caulking the space between a window and seal, installing a permanent door stopper, or changing out parts of the home that may be bad at keeping cold air from entering.
By utilizing these strategies and tips, an otherwise expensive winter can become much more affordable.