Depending on where you live in the world, this could be a time of year that it is starting to get colder. That means that you will likely be starting to crank the heat up to keep warm. As we know, when we attempt to make the indoors more comfortable, there is a cost associated with cranking up the heat. In this blog, I, Mark Roemer, will share with you some easy ways that you can keep the cost down this winter.
With any luck, you have one of those programmable thermostats. If you are one of the unlucky ones that do not, try asking your landlord they can install one for you. If they decline, ask if you would be permitted to install one out of your pocket. Make sure that they understand that when you leave, the thermostat is going with you. The reason I am trying to get you to install one of these is that renters around the world have reported as much as a 10% saving on their electric bill as a result. The reason is that you can set these digital marvels for different temperatures at different times of the day. While you are home, you can have it at the temperature that feels most comfortable to you. However, when you are away, you can drop that temperature down. There is no need to have a house being heated when you are not home. If you have animals, you can set it a little higher than if you have no one in the house.
As far as temperatures are concerned, most websites and experts suggest that a comfortable temperature in the winter is about 70 degrees F (or 21 degrees C). When you are away, you could easily set the temperature at 63 degrees F (or 17 degrees C). Having it set for this temperature will allow the house to get back up to your comfort level about the time you get home. Set the thermostat to resume your optimal temperature one hour before your arrival.
You never want to turn your heat completely off. This may sound strange, but you will be doing yourself a disservice by cutting off the heat. When you restart your heat, the system has to start from zero. If you set the heat for 60 degrees F (or 15 degrees C), then the system will not have to work as hard when it comes back on. This can save you a little money as well.
If you live in a large home or apartment, you will generally have forced air heating. This means that you will have the entire house at the same temperature. No, everyone likes to spend time at the same temperature. Therefore, I suggest practicing zone heating. You can accomplish this by simply setting your thermostat for the lowest temperature you want in the house. Take, for instance, the bedroom. Many people cannot sleep when it is too hot. To combat this, set your temperature to the temperature that is comfortable for you to sleep. Then in the other rooms that you spend time in, consider space heaters. Make sure that they all have emergency shutoffs in case they get knocked over by kids or pets.
Unless you are one of those people that likes to roam around your house naked, you are likely to have a temperature that is cool for some people. You can combat this by adding layers. There is nothing wrong with wearing multiple layers inside the house. It cuts down on the amount of heat and energy that you need. Consider putting on a sweater or thick wool socks. This will keep you warm, even if the ambient temperature is quite cold.
Something that you can do without the need to contact the landlord is to install weather stripping on your doors and windows. This will keep the cool air from outside from penetrating your house. When the cool air continually cools down the house, the heaters need to work more often. This drives up the cost of electricity. That is money that is better off spent on something that you want.
Proper installation of weather stripping can save you an addition 20% on your electric bill. Many different websites will provide you with all the information you need. Likewise, you could stop by your local hardware store, and they will be able to assist you.
There is a shrink wrap that is specifically designed for windows. Essentially, you use double-sided tape and install a small layer of this plastic around your windows. You then take a hairdryer and heat it. This will shrink the plastic and make it so you can see through it easily. Doing this will provide a barrier between the inside of your house and the outside windows. Doing this will effectively prevent any cold air from leaking in from your windows. I had a friend do this in Montana, and they told me they did not have to use as much heat in the house this past year. He also reported that it only cost him $15. When he compared it to the heating bill from last year, it saved him over $200. Subtracting the initial investment means he saved a grand total of $185. That is nothing to shake a stick at.
I, Mark Roemer, know that winter can be pretty severe, depending on where you live. Not only do you have to battle the cold days, but you also have to worry about how much your electric bill is going to cost. Take some of the tips I have provided you above, and you will have one less thing to worry about this winter. All told, you can save about 50% off your heating bill this year if you combined all the above suggestions. I wish you the best of luck and know you can’t wait until the summer sun returns to keep you nice and warm.