Home heating tips
Beat the draughts
Draughts waste 6-9% of home energy use. Start simple and adopt the old draught snake. Place a rolled bath towel or custom-made “snake” across the bottom of leaky doors and windows.
Use sealer and weatherstipping
It pays to seal up gaps with sealer and weatherstripping. Take a close look at places where two different building materials meet, such as corners, around chimneys, where pipes or wires exit and along the foundation. Use the incense test: carefully (avoiding drapes and other flammables) move a lit stick along walls; where the smoke wavers, you have air sneaking in.
Run fans in reverse
Most people think of fans only when they want to be cool, but many ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it seem warmer by making an updraft that sends the warmer air pooled near the ceiling back into the living space. This can cut your heating costs as much as 10 percent.
Mind that thermostat
It’s easy to forget to turn down the heat when you leave the house but doing so is one of the surest ways to save money. Make it easier with a programmable thermostat.
Turn the bathroom fan off
A bathroom or kitchen fan can suck all of the heat out of an average house in about an hour.
Only heat the rooms you spend time in
Close internal doors to rooms that you don’t use.
Heat escapes when you go outside
So…don’t go outside! Just joking! Perhaps you could go out less often if you think about what needs to done and plan trips and chores better.
Put up the plastic
For just a few dollars get a window insulation kit. Don’t worry — properly installed, window plastic is essentially invisible. Adding a buffer against drafts and extra still air space can give a nice boost to your home’s ability to hold heat. Save even more by hiring a pro to install a high-tech “low-e” film directly to the window glass.
Use an energy monitor or smart meter
Measure your way to savings with an energy monitor. Such a device indicates household electrical usage in real time and projects your monthly bill. Research has found that such info leads consumers to reduce their electricity consumption significantly. By seeing exactly how much each appliance or activity costs, you’ll start seeing easy ways to cut waste.
Put on a jersey
Roughly speaking, a light long-sleeved jersey is worth about a degree in added warmth, while a heavy jersey adds about 2 degrees.
Let the sun shine in
Finally, don’t dismiss the power of sunlight in heating the home. Open blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house during the day. Make sure your windows are clean and clear them of overhanging branches.