If you live in a part of the country where the winters are long and cold, chances are your heating takes up a large chunk of your energy bills. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can make many small adjustments to your house that will help your heating system run more efficiently. Here are a few things you can do now to keep your heating costs down.
- Replace old weatherstripping
Worn, old weatherstipping around your doors and windows lose its effectiveness in blocking cold air from entering your house. Up to 30% of heat is lost through windows and doors alone. With this high amount of heat loss, you’re more likely to turn up your heating more than if your house was properly sealed. Weatherstripping typically needs replacing every 2 years, and all you have to do is remove the old one and stick on the new stripping. Also, for extra insulation, you can place a heavy-duty, clear plastic film to your window frames too.
- Block the drafts around your electrical sockets
One place people often overlook when it comes to drafts is your electrical sockets. Usually, there is insufficient or improperly placed insulation behind these boxes. To fix this issue, turn off the power to the outlets, remove the plastic cover, and fill the gap with acrylic latex caulk or a foam sealant. Then place a foam gasket over the socket and replace the cover. It might seem like a small thing, but every little bit helps.
- Insulate your pipes
A lot of wasted heat is lost through your pipes. This is where pipe insulation comes in, otherwise known as pipe lagging. You can buy lagging at any hardware store, and you can easily slip them over pipes. Lagging is usually made from foams, plastic, or synthetic wool. This will help retain the heat inside the pipe and even prevent freezing in especially cold temperatures.
- Add extra insulation
When looking to improve your home’s efficiency, sometimes additional insulation is needed. Place insulation in cavity walls and areas susceptible to heat loss, such as an attic. Insulation comes in many types, each with its own characteristics and advantages. The types you can choose from are: batts and blankets, loose-fill, structural insulated panels, and spray foam.
- Seal air leaks in ducts
If your home has an HVAC system, make sure you seal leaks in the ducts throughout your home. Similar to the water pipes of a water-based central heating system, ducts are susceptible to heat loss. If you notice any warm air escaping, either in small gaps and corners, you can cover it up with a mastic sealant or metal tape.
- Connect your home’s heating
This is one of the most technological and expensive solutions, but the payoffs can be huge. With a programmable or smart thermostat, the heating will be lowered by around 15 degrees when you’re not home or asleep. This will drastically cut down on your heating bills. Smart thermostats learn about your lifestyle and heating habits, and automatically adjusts to keep your heating at a comfortable but efficient level. With these thermostats, you won’t have to worry about manually adjusting your central heating and save up to 15% off your bill.