As the winter season comes around, so do the common complaints we hear year after year:
"Why are my heating bills so high?"
"Help, I can't afford my heating bills."
"How can I reduce my heating bill?"
Despite the many challenges that winter brings, from cold temperatures and snow to frost, ice, and foggy commutes, the one thing that truly sends shivers down our spines is the sound of the power bill landing in our mailboxes.
As the winter months approach, many homeowners are concerned about the rising cost of heating their homes. While it can be tempting to turn up the thermostat and stay cozy all season long, this can lead to a significant increase in energy bills.
Thankfully, there are ways to keep warm and cozy throughout the winter season without breaking the bank. By making some simple changes to our behavior and upgrading to more energy-efficient systems, we can significantly reduce our heating costs and still stay comfortable in our homes.
In this article, we will explore some of the most effective ways to save money on your heating bill and provide tips for maximizing your energy savings.
The delight of coming home to a warm, comfortable house is almost beyond price, but not entirely. We need to keep those costs under control, and THEN we'll all be happy warm bunnies!
According to hydroone.com, over 60% of one family household yearly energy costs goes on home heating and close to 20% to water heating. Home appliances use approximately 10% of the energy, and 5% of energy is used on air conditioning and lighting.
60% of your budget for heating your home is a considerable amount of money, so I'm sure finding ways to save money will be at the top of your to-do list.
Congratulations if you've installed a heat pump and condensing water heater and are enjoying the efficiency and savings they bring; however, we can still save money on our power bills, even with a heat pump or ultra-efficient heater but, and there's always a but isn't there?
We need to get off ours and do some work. Sorry, it won't happen on its own.
Let's get started.
We will look at 29 areas:
These small gadgets are so important and often abused or overlooked.
The central thermostat in your house is a critical part of controlling your home environment; however, it also plays a significant role in your mission to control your home energy costs. You should treat it with great respect!
If it's old, consider upgrading it to a programmable unit. So, for example, if you want to boost the heating before you get home on an icy evening, it's simple – just a few taps on an app.
A quality thermostat, properly fitted, will save money on your heating and energy bills. It's like Mission Control, and you're in charge. You can save 10-20% of your annual power bill by turning the temperature down just a few degrees, and you won't feel it. Turning the temperature down by even 1 C (33 F) will save money.
You have control, use it!
If you lower the temperature in winter by 3 C (35.6 F) at night and when you leave the house during the day, even for a few hours.
"The Department of Energy estimates savings of about 1 percent for each degree of thermostat adjustment per 8 hours…" [source].
Don't adjust your thermostat excessively; a suggestion is to have only one person do it because fiddling with it can cost you money. For example, the kids turn it up because they feel cold, then they go out, forgetting to turn it back down again.
If your central thermostat is crucial, the one attached to your hot water system is even more important, yet often ignored. Heating water for your home accounts for 18% of your power consumption. However, water heaters are usually set to 60 C (140 F). Your water should never be so hot it scalds, especially important when you have children or elderly adults in the house. You can safely turn it down to 49 C (120 F), and it will save you money each year. This is a factory set temperature, so no need to change it drastically.
Here are 23 easy things you can do to save money on your heating bill when you have an hour free. Just start in the Fall when you feel the first nip in the air and get off your proverbial and do some work. It will be worth the effort, I guarantee it.
Create a checklist; don't expect to do it all in one day (unless you're a Superhero!), but with a checklist, you won't forget anything, and it's very satisfying to check things done, off the list, don't you agree?
Let's get started:
Have you done all that? Well done, you!
You have undoubtedly saved money on your home heating costs. Now you can rest more relaxed for the winter, and those bills should be less of a pain, that's for sure.
Lastly, there are four big-ticket items that will potentially save you the most money in the long term. They need careful thought and budgeting for in advance. Research the costs and the savings you can achieve, and how long it will take to recover your outlay.
There are many grants, rebates and financial incentives you can access, check with your local or state organizations for details of what they have on offer. With some research, you can find them, and for the sake of a little time and effort, you can win.
It really is worthwhile.
24. Upgrading your heating system.
A furnace over 15 years old will not be as efficient as a modern system, and you could achieve significant power cost savings by installing a new unit. The best option today is a heat pump. They are super-efficient and provide both heating and cooling, giving you year-round comfort, and won't break the bank. Remember, there are grants, rebates, and financial incentives you can access. Air to air heat pumps deliver efficient heating and cooling, no matter where you live.
25. Insulate your home.
If you have an attic space that is insulated but a long time ago, then it's worth checking to see if it is still up to standard. You can save money by upgrading to the latest specifications. It is usually a DIY project. There are often grants available for this upgrade.
26. Install motion sensors on your outdoor lighting.
Don't have them running all the time. Systems typically cost very little and are easy to install. They will save you money.
27. Consider fitting double-paned glass.
Your windows typically account for around 15% of your home's wall area, so they have a significant effect on your power costs. New windows could make sense.
28. Basement Insulation.
Many of us have a basement, which is often overlooked for insulation. It will get very cold in winter, and if it's unheated or uninsulated, you have a freezer under your house. It may be a project you should consider, and if you have the skills, do the work yourself, but it's a project that could pay dividends in the future.
There you go - 28 ways plus one (thermostat), gives you 29 ways to save on your next heating bill! Lots of food for thought.
In conclusion, there are many ways to save money on your heating bill and reduce the energy usage.
Simple steps like adjusting the thermostat, sealing air leaks, and improving insulation can have a significant impact on heating costs. Upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace or boiler, using a programmable or smart thermostat, and investing in energy-efficient windows and doors can also result in long-term savings.
Additionally, exploring alternative heating sources such as air-to-air heat pumps, geothermal or solar can provide further cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
By taking a few proactive steps, you can improve the energy efficiency of your homes and save money on heating costs.