Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenDecorating & Remodeling · 1 decade ago

What are some tips on keeping heating costs low?

Any tips on keeping heating costs low this winter?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    I think the number one thing would definitely be to have an up-to-date, energy-efficient heating appliance (boiler, furnace, etc...). Of course, there is big up front cost in that one.

    The next thing you should do is insulate. I was just reading an article on ThisOldHouse.com about insulating. Check for air drafts in and around recessed lights,windows and outlets by burning an incense stick, bringing it around and checking to see if there is smoke blowing out or getting sucked in to any window cracks, outlets, etc... There is a handy product called "Great Stuff" and it is basically foam insulation in a can. You can use this to fill any holes, etc... that you come across that will be hidden by outlet plates, etc.... For windows, be sure that there is a nice tight caulk seal around the windows and that the old caulk hasn't cracked or broken off in any places. Some major places that blow your money out the window so to speak are the holes that your plumber or electrician made when running pipes and wires though the house, although these spaces are sometimes not easy to get at and seal, being as they're usually behind your sheetrock or plaster walls!

    Also, this may sound stupid, but turn down your heat a few degrees and put a sweater on. Make sure that if there's no one home during the day that you turn the thermostat down to 60 degrees. Same for the nighttime, turn it down between 60 and 65 degrees, depending on what you can tolerate when you're sleeping.

    Some other random things- insulate your hot water pipes. Make sure your thermostat is accurate. Be sure to clean/replace any air filters associated with your heating system. Setting up "Zones" is also something that is costly but sure to save you money- you can adjust the heat in certain places (upstairs vs downstairs, etc...) to be higher in the rooms that you are using and lower in the rooms you won't be in. You'd have to talk to your plumber or A/C person to get prices on that.

    To sum it up, the cheapest, easiest way to save money is to insulate.

    Source(s): Thisoldhouse.com
  • 1 decade ago

    The general rule is for every degree you lower your thermostat you save 1-3% on your heating cost...so put on a sweater and turn the heat down a couple degrees.

    You will save money by turning down the heat during the day as long as you are going to be gone for 4 hours plus. If you normally keep the heat at 67 degrees...I would recommend you turn the heat down to ~57 degrees during the day...the general recommendation is to turn your heat down 7-10 degrees. You do not want to turn the heat completely off because you do not want the furnace to catch up from 20-30 degrees difference or if for some reason you cannot come home you do not want pipes freezing.

    You also may consider turning the heat down before you go to bed to whatever you can stand. Personally I turn the heat down to 58 degrees at night. If you follow the two above recommendations you should be able to cut ~15% off of your monthly heating bill.

    I would suggest a programmable thermostat. They are relatively inexpensive ~$50 and you will probably save that much on your gas bill within a couple months. What the programmable thermostat will do is take care of all of the turning up and down of your heat. For example on weekdays my thermostat turns my heat down to 59 at 11pm...at 6am it turns it up to 68 so when I wake up the house is warm again...at 8am it again turns it down to 59 and at 5pm it turns it back up to 68. On weekends it only turns it down at night. Makes the entire process automatic.

    You might consider using plastic film storm windows over your any drafty windows. You can judge whether a window is drafty by putting a candle around the window and see if it causes the flame to flicker. The plastic film is pretty easy to install, costs a couple bucks at any hardware store, and can be removed and disposed of once it starts getting warm out.

    For doors...get new weather stripping for the bottom and around the door seals if possible. Worst case a rolled up towel or blanket can help stop a draft from under a door.

    Major things would be adding insulation or hiring a professional that can use special cameras to check for cool spots and drafts and correcting each area. There would be some cost involved but if they fix some major areas you may make the money back in saved heating costs.

    Couple articles on this subject:

    http://www.grist.org/advice/ask/2003/12/18/umbra-t...

    http://www.lockergnome.com/technobabble/2005/04/04...

    http://energyboomer.typepad.com/energyboomer/2007/...

  • Ingrid
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Keep the Thermostat down and dress warm. The most important attire to keep warm are Socks.

    My Thermostat sits on 65 and I am very comfortable around the clock.

    Check the doors and windows for air leaks and use tape if necessary to prevent cold air from coming in. My Home is very tight and well insulated but I found that air is coming in through the

    Range Hood and so I took a Kitchen Bag and some magnets and covered it up that way. Works

    wonders and is easy to remove and put up again.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Using weatherstripping around windows and doors (even newspapers..), Draft stoppers in front on exterior doors, Storm Windows over all exterior windows, Carpets if there is a hardwood floor, setting the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, bundling up and even lower thermostat, insulation in attic, insulation under floor joists, insulation in walls, adjusting heater to pull less outside air..

    With all these, there is only so much one can do. Today's super-insulated homes tend to be less healthful because they are so closed up with little air circulation.

    Happy Holidays!!

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  • 4 years ago

    if there are window in your house that get a lot of sun, make shades by cutting big pieces of cardboard to fit the windows and lining the cardboard with aluminum foil. Put the shades in during the hours where the sun is the most intense and they will block your house from getting as hot. I lived in an apartment with huge west-facing windows, from noon until sunset they turned the apartment into a greenhouse, it would litterally be 100+ inside when it was 80 outside. The foil-lined shades reduced the indoor temperature by more than 15 degrees. Also, if you live in a house with a basement or a crawl space, open the crawl space access and use a fan to draw air from under the house into the house. the underground crawl space will be much cooler than the outdoor air.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    seriously, wear light layers and it makes a huge difference in how low you can set your thermostat. Make sure all your windows and doors are well sealed; use that clean, blow-dryable film on your windows to seal them. If you have zone heating, heat the zones your in, not the ones you're not (one of my clients has a garage that's warmer than my house...).

    Use draft stoppers against your outside doors, and put a blanket on every chair and sofa!

    And sleep with a friend, lol~~~~ preferably a warm one!

  • 1 decade ago

    Four things that are the best. Keep your furnace filter clean. Caulk all drafts around windows and doors and areas where cold is coming in and window and door weather striping. If you have curtins and can keep them closed on the worst days that will help. Turn down your water heater a touch if you can. Contractor

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Additional insulation in your attic (if you have one).

    Weatherstripping around doors and windows.

    Caulking around doors and windows.

    Dropping the thermostat and wearing pajamas and socks.

    Reduce your water heater temperature and take shorter showers.

    There are several more tips at the website below. I hope this helps.

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