Winter is all but upon us, and most homeowners know that this means increased energy bills. Many are dreading them as the bill might skyrocket during the cold months ahead, and they worry about financing this increase while sticking to a budget.
However, while you should expect your energy bill to go up, ask yourself if a massive hike is necessary. Are you using energy wisely, and what can you do to ensure that you do?
Here are three important wintertime energy-saving tips:
Have a heating system checkup
If your heating system is not working efficiently, it demands more energy to meet the requirements set by its thermostat. Heating systems are significant energy users in homes during winter. However, there are ways to mitigate this increased electricity demand.
An annual inspection of your boiler and heating system allows your contractor to effect necessary repairs and maintenance to the boiler, pipes, and radiators. Schedule your appointment in advance as heating companies see a rising demand for their time during late fall and early winter.
Out of date boilers use more electricity than their modern counterparts, so it might be time to replace yours. Simultaneously, switch to modern wall-mountable electric radiators that target specific rooms that need to be heated more than others. BestElectricRadiators offers its clients customized solutions to their heating needs.
Underfloor heating is also an effective heating mechanism that might let you turn down your thermostat a few degrees. Heat rises, so when it comes from the floor, it reaches an entire room.
A smart thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature, even when you are not there. Set the heating at a lower temperature while you are at work and turn it up in advance of your return.
Improve your home’s insulation
Your home’s insulation also needs an annual checkup. Damaged insulation allows additional cold air to seep into the structure, requiring your heating system to work even harder, using excessive amounts of electricity.
If your home has an attic, this should be where you start. Loose-fill or batt insulation are ideal materials, with the former costing less than the latter. Before insulating, any air leaks in the roof and attic walls. Air-blown insulation is a modern solution to prevent heat loss. It is easy to install and requires little preparation, mess, and fuss. If you have a basement or cellar, it is another entry point for cold air. Find out about insulation options to keep the cold out of this vulnerable area.
Ducts and pipes that travel through the home to supply heating should be insulated to prevent heat loss while they are in use. When wrapped in insulation material, they remain hot without requiring more energy and work more efficiently.
Additional insulation work includes checking that doors and windows seal tightly to prevent cold air from seeping in and hot air escaping. Double glazed windows also work as insulators. Installing them will save you a lot of money in energy bills.
Winterise your water heater
Insulating your water heater is the first step you should undertake to save energy. Companies manufacture water heater ‘blankets’ that fit around a water heater to trap heat and prevent it from escaping.
Your water heater is constantly heating and cooling according to the thermostat settings. The thermostat detects the temperature around it and then heats up accordingly. When your water heater is insulated, temperature fluctuations are fewer, and less electricity is required.
Next, consider your water heater temperature. The average water heater is set at 140°F, which is not necessary. Turning the thermostat down to 120°F will make a significant difference to your energy bill. You will not notice the difference, except when you see a reduced energy account balance and feel a financial burden lift from your shoulders.
You can invest in a water heater thermostat controller. Once programmed, it maintains a specified temperature, which you can set at different levels for various times of the day. Think about your hot water needs. Most households require hot water in the morning and again at night. Set your controller to maintain higher temperatures at these times and lower ones for the remaining hours of the day.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.