I don’t know about you, but I was excited for the fall season this year, until the temperatures dropped to almost freezing. I dread going home, as we have yet to turn the heat up, which is one of the most costly of our utility bills in the winter. Household energy consumption, specifically heat, always goes up during the late-fall and winter seasons. Don’t let these hefty bills break the bank. Here are some tips to save on heat consumption this winter:
- Windows and Curtains – What is the most sustainable, free source of energy you can think of? The sun, of course! That said, you should open your curtains before you leave for work in the morning to let the maximum amount of light on throughout the day, which is a free way to add some heat to your home. When it turns dark, close them for added insulation. You should also check your windows for gaps or leaks which let the heat out, effectively lowering the temperature inside your house. This will also minimize condensation on your windows.
- Living Room Feng Shui – You might not have thought of this, but if your couch blocks the radiator, you’re essentially paying extra money to heat that piece of furniture instead of the whole room. Do a little feng shui, the Chinese practice of actively rearranging a room within your home. It will give the room a fresh look and feel, and you’ll be getting what you pay for in terms of paying more every month for heat.
- Review and Examine your Home’s Insulation – Before winter hits, you should examine the highest ceilings in your house for insulation. As heat physically rises, 25% of it escapes through the roof, so installing about 10 inches of insulation will drastically cut this down. Similarly, it may also behoove you to examine and install, if necessary, insulation in the exterior walls of your home, as heat can escape from there, too.
- Turn it down in there! – Just hear me out; The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum temperature of 70°F in the living room. So turn your thermostat down to 70°F or just below 70°F if that’s more comfortable for you. In England, turning the thermostat down to about 65°F showed an average savings of 10% in heating bills in 2014.
These are just some suggestions for how to save money on utilities this winter. Obviously, if you can’t realistically or comfortably rearrange your living room to expose the radiator hiding behind the couch, then don’t attempt to do so. We recommend researching other methods to save on heat. Stay warm this winter, and every winter, friends!