Ways to Heat Your Home: 6 Simple Tips

Are Your Heating Costs Blowing Your Budget?

We all experience the same pattern every year, as temperatures plummet, thermostats climb, as do our heating bills.

Across the nation, homeowners know that it can be costly to keep their homes comfortable during bad weather.

With everyone at home more than ever before, you are undoubtedly using more energy than ever before.

Being comfortable does not have to mean a skyrocketing heating bill.

Keeping it Simple

I have recommended tips in this post that are easy to do and things you can do today. 

Heating your home does not need to be complicated or expensive but does require you to be consistent in managing the little things.

Sometimes the simple unsexy choices are easier to ignore than big bombastic changes. It would be nice to have a button to push that would make everything in our life sustainable but of course in reality it’s a lot of small choices.  Living sustainably is all about better living though better choices

I have six easy tips to help you heat your home more effectively, save money, and stay warm and cozy.

Tip 1: Eliminate Drafts

It is common for windows and doors to develop small leaks that allow a significant amount of heat to escape and requires your furnace to work harder to keep you warm.

Locating Leaks

Are you unsure where the leak is coming from?

An old tried true method is to carefully hold a flame (match or lighter) near exterior door and window frames. The aim is to see if the draft moves the flame.  No movement of the flame indicates no draft, therefore a secure zone. Conversely, if the flame does move, that means you have a leak.

You can also use the stream of smoke that comes from the burning incense to locate a leak. The concept is the same as a flame; if the smoke swirls and moves near an opening, then most likely, you have found a leaky culprit.

(Click on Images to Learn More)

Do you have drafty windows?  If so, insulation kits for both windows and doors are affordable and easy to install. This simple, inexpensive tip will produce results that you will feel immediately.

Tip2: Wrap Your Tank

Installing an insulation blanket on your hot water tank can save you between $30-$70 a year, depending on the size of your tank and your utility rate.

A Hot Water Tank insulation blanket returns an overall energy savings in the 7% - 16% range and typically pays for itself in one year.

Hot water tank blanket are extremely affordable and easy to install for even those who consider themselves mechanically challenged.

(Click on Images to Learn More)

How to Determine if Your Tank Need an Insulation Blanket?

Does the outside of your tank feel hot?  If yes, then the extra insulation will save you energy and money.

The location of your tank. Is your tank in the garage or outbuilding where it gets cold?  If so, it's a viable candidate for an insulation blanket.

What is the age of your tank?  Water heaters have an average life expectancy of 15 years. If your tank is older than 15 years, it is likely ready to be replaced with a new efficient hot water tank.

Tip3: Heat by Zone

It is a no-brainer; if you reduce your heating costs, you will save money and energy.

Zone heating is only heating the areas of your home used and closing ones that are not. 

Closing heating vents and shutting doors to those areas will reduce your furnace's workload and lower its energy consumption.

Make sure to occasionally check on those closed off spaces and turn the temperature up for a couple hours  run a dehumidifier if applicable.

Tip 4: Get Smart

The number one reason people give for upgrading to a programable thermostat is to save energy.

The new Nest Thermostat takes managing your home's heating to the next level.  It can help find ways to save that conventional programable thermostats cannot.

The Nest Thermostat is easy to install and has a sleek design; it just looks cool.

(Click on Images to Learn More)

The Google Home app has a Quick Schedule feature that allows you to create custom schedules that include time, temperature, and date. It will even make suggestions that balance energy savings temperatures with your comfort.

Its smart technology feature Savings Finder searches for small improvements to help you save energy in your home.  A simple suggestion it may make is to lower the temperatures at night, resulting in you sleeping better while you save money.

As well as maximizing comfort and efficiency, the Nest Thermostat can monitor eligible HVAC systems and warn of possible issues via the app or email. It gives you peace of mind and the opportunity to act, to avoid wasting energy and costly repairs.

To see which HVAC systems are compatible, check out store.google.com and energy rebates from your energy provider offers.

Check out my other post; How to Reduce Your Impact on the Planet with Programmable Thermostats for more information on this topic.

Tip 5: Daylighting

Warm, sunny days can be a means of natural and free heat for your home, even when it is cold outside.

Radiant heat is the kind of heat that enters through windows and helps warm your home.

To reduce energy use and your reliance on artificial light, you can use a daylighting strategy that uses the sun's radiant heat to help light and warm your home.

Keeping your shades and curtains closed during the dark, cold winter months work as a layer of insulation against the cold.

Opening window coverings when the sun out allows the light to flood in and heat and brighten your home.

East-facing windows allow good daylight during the morning, and drapes are closed in the afternoon, evenings, and nights.

West-facing windows receive more light in the afternoon and evening with their coverings drawn in the mornings and nights.

To work successfully, daylighting requires you to be diligent about opening and closing the windows coverings per their schedule time. 

This is a simple tip that you can do immediately and start right away enjoying daylighting benefits.

Tip 6: Furniture Arrangement

This tip can be kind of fun if you think of it as the feng shui of heating. 

In Chinese the words "feng" and "shui" mean “wind” and “water" and is the practice of arranging the objects in a living space that creates balance with the natural world. The goal is to use energy forces and create harmony between an individual and their environment.

Furniture can absorb or deflect heat depending on their location and arrangement. Check to ensure your furniture is not sitting over floor heating vents or blocking windows that keep daylight from reaching into the rooms. Aim to create a furniture layout that helps heat and air circulating freely in the room.

Keep Taking Small Steps

You can lower your energy bill and keep your home comfortable when the temperatures start dropping my just taking a few proactive steps.

I realize none of these tips are life immediately changing but as with everything, it is doing the small little things that end up making a big difference.