Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Warm House, Full Wallet: How to Save Money on Heating

Unknown | 11:20 AM |
Warm House, Full Wallet: How to Save Money on Heating

Spring is upon us, but that doesn’t mean that the cold has gone for good. Mother Nature seems especially fickle this year sending a week a blistery cold after we’ve had sunshine for days. The consequences are numerous, none more so than bringing our spirits down. Add in the extra heating cost, and you’ve got a recipe for the blues. To keep that money in your pocket for better uses (new swimsuit, anyone?), here are some simple ways to keep the house warm and save you money.

Clear the radiator
Make sure the heat can flow freely if you have a radiator. For instance, a couch right next to the radiator prevents heat from flowing efficiently throughout the house. Shelves above the radiator are okay, though, because this keeps the heat from rising directly to the ceiling. Just make sure that neither they nor you’re couch are too close.

Seal those windows
Unless you’ve got an energy efficient home with double glazed windows, you’re likely losing money due to heat loss. Energy efficient windows save money in the long run, but with it being so late in the winter season there’s not much urgency to get some fitted. Instead, go to a local hardware store, pick up some plastic film, and tape it around your windows. There are products out there that are explicitly made for this, but regular plastic works fine. It’s an easy, low-cost solution to keep the heat in and the wind out.

Seal those doors too
When heat escapes through a letterbox or through a door that’s not level, more money leaves your pocket with it. Take a quick look around the house to see if there are any weak spots and use that leftover plastic wrap to seal them up.

Set a timer on your thermostat
It’s a myth that keeping your heat on all day is better. Instead, if you know a cold front is coming, set your timer to turn on earlier. This way you can wake up warm and save money.

Keep the blinds open and doors closed
Even though the wind may be whistling outside, that doesn’t mean you still can’t use the power of the sun by opening up the blinds during the day. Along with that, keep the doors closed to any room that’s not occupied. What’s the point in heating a room up if you don’t plan to use it?

Run fans in reverse
Most people think of fans as something only to use on hot summer days. That’s not the only use they have, however. Many fans have a switch that allows the blades to spin in reverse, where the hot air that is pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space.

Sometimes the best tips are the most obvious. By following these simple steps you’re sure to save some money while keeping your home warmer. Of course, if all else fails, just visualize yourself on a warm beach somewhere, because warm weather is just around the corner.

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