Are you spending a fortune on heating? One of the first things people ask about our two story, 97 year old-home is “Doesn’t it cost at fortune to heat?” Actually it doesn’t! We have learned some simple home hacks that make our home quite comfortable and affordable in the winter. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement! Over the years of owning several homes we learned that switching providers isn’t the only way to reduce the heating bill. By making several changes to a home, you can conserve energy and make heating costs more affordable. Here’s how to save money on your monthly heating bill. *This post contains affiliate links.
Switch to a tankless water heater
When people think of reducing heating costs, replacing or sealing windows almost always come to mind first, but hot water heaters really account for a large portion of the bill. Our hot water has been on the brink for two years, and we have kept putting off buying a new one. Recently however my husband has had to take cold January, early morning showers, so now we are definitely in the market for a new hot water tank. While preparing this post, I discovered tankless water heaters which may be a real possibility for us. These heaters take up much less space than traditional tanks and can also be easily concealed in a closet or cabinet. Some even have sleek designs that aren’t too much of an eyesore, like the Eccotemp I12-LP Indoor tankless heater shown below.
Tankless water heaters only heat up water when you need it (i.e. when a hot water tap is used). They’re more cost-effective than traditional water heating systems in which several gallons of water has to be kept heated in a storage tank. In fact, a tankless water heater could use as much as 50% less energy. There are lots of tankless water heaters on the market – some are only able to serve one faucet at a time, while others can deal with the demand of a whole family. Shop around on the web to find the best tankless water heater for your needs. Remember that installation fees may also vary. I found a video that explains how tankless water heaters work here.
Insulation is a means of trapping heat in your home so that you don’t have to reach for the thermostat as often. There are all kinds of insulation methods including loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, underfloor insulation, pipe insulation and double glazing (I have learned a thing or two about insulation after renovating and flipping a few houses)!
Installation costs can vary depending on the material and installation method you’re using – thermal wool can be installed somewhat affordably and is more eco friendly, while blown-in insulation may require hiring a professional.
Use heavy curtains or hang a historic style porterie
If you’re living in a rented property or if you are unable to do any type of construction work to insulate inside walls, there are still several DIY insulation tricks. Hanging thick curtains around drafty windows can make a big difference. Even an interior room can be kept warmer with the addition of a thick curtain “portiere” between room or above a door, which can be very stylish and beautiful. I am thinking about adding a DIY drop cloth portiere to the door between the kitchen and living room.
Dodge The Draft!
Keeping drafts out , especially in historic homes is as important as trapping heat in. You can locate sources of drafts by placing a small candle in a window sill or at the foot of a door. Using draft protectors (“door snakes”) under doors and at window sills can stop cold air penetrating these spaces. It may also be beneficial to seal up any cracks in your property that could be letting in drafts.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
Not all central heating can be placed on a timer, but upgrading to allow this feature could be useful for conserving energy. This could prevent you from leaving the heating on simply out of forgetfulness, or from having it running for hours on high while no one is home. With a programmable thermostat it can be set to come back on a hour or two before coming back home to get things warmed up.
The latest models are small and sleek, and have wifi capabilities, allowing you to adjust the temperature from your smart phone while you are away from home. For our home we simply installed an inexpensive programmable thermostat, and we noticed a considerable decrease in our electric bill.
Install window film and seal around windows
Don’t forget to caulk around windows and add weatherstripping seal. These inexpensive heating hacks can make a drastic improvement in the comfort of your home and reduction in heating costs.
Consider Solar Heating
Many homes are embracing solar energy as a new means of generating heating. Solar panels create electricity which can then be used to heat up your home. Whilst installing solar panels can be expensive, you’ll make your money in the long run by never having to pay a heating bill again. Solar panels are best placed on the roof where they’re likely to get the most sun, but you may find other locations for them such as the garden. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a clear sky to generate solar power – solar panels will still generate power even in cloudy weather. Solar power isn’t the only sustainable way to generate power and some households may find that home wind power or hydroelectric power are more effective. Now there are discreet solar roof panels that look exactly like traditional roofing, so you can still have the benefit of solar heating without affecting the traditional or historic look of your home.
There is nothing better than cozy, warm and welcoming home in the winter. Well, actually there is—an cozy, warm and welcoming home that doesn’t cost a fortune to heat! By using some of the ideas shared here today, you can reduce your heating bill each month. You can use the extra money you saved to buy some beautiful cozy throws and blankets or warm pajamas to snuggle up in! Unfortunately in our case, that extra money is going toward a new hot water tank, but it won’t be long until that investment pays for itself by lowering the heating bill over time.
Well friends, stay warm! Just remember…spring is on the way!