How Simple Changes and Efficient Upgrades
Will Heat Your Home Affordably This Winter
When the temperature plummets outside, your central heating has to work harder to keep your family warm inside. Unfortunately, all this extra energy use translates into those dreaded winter heating bills. Before this happens, though, there are steps you can take to get your home prepared for winter, especially when it comes to heating your home more efficiently. Window Cleaning Bath explains how.
Upgrade for Efficiency
These days, the big trend in home improvement is to create a “green” home. Making your home green can take many forms, but when it comes to winter weather, the focus is on efficiency. Your central heating is where most of your winter home energy use happens, so it only makes sense that an efficient system will lower your energy use and your bills. One way to make your central heating more efficient is to do regular maintenance , such as changing the filter and getting an annual tune-up.
However, as much as maintenance can help old systems work better, there comes a time when getting an upgrade is best. Newer central heating systems are much more efficient than older models, so the cost savings that come from upgrading typically outweigh the investment.
When you think about upgrading for efficiency, remember that your central heating is only one of several green improvements you can make. Upgrading to a programmable thermostat, or even a smart thermostat , will help make sure your heat only runs when you need it so less energy is wasted.
Lastly, another green upgrade is to replace your boiler with a more energy efficient model. Keep in mind you cannot install a new boiler yourself; this must be handled by an experienced plumber. If you can’t afford to replace your boiler, try turning down the heat, take fewer showers and opt to wash only full loads of dishes or clothing.
Use Additional Heat Sources
Along with efficient upgrades, another simple way to save energy is to use additional heat sources. If you always get cold in a certain spot like your bathroom or home office, an efficient space heater will warm up the room without requiring additional heat to the whole house. Or if you light a cozy fire in your fireplace, that room will stay nice and toasty, giving your heating system a break.
One thing to keep in mind is that a fireplace can help heat your home efficiently, but it can also be a potential drain on your heating system. This is because a fireplace that isn’t well-sealed could allow cold air into your home. You can easily avoid this problem by making small adjustments, like getting a top sealing damper , which helps keep the warm air in and the cool air out.
Work With Mother Nature
We tend to think of winter in terms of cold, dark days, but that doesn’t mean that mother nature is always working against you. If you have a room that gets great morning or afternoon light, open your curtains and let the light in on sunny days. This is such a simple tip, but letting in the sunlight is a free way to warm up your home naturally! To help keep your windows clean, sign up for regular maintenance through Window Cleaning Bath .
Even when your windows are clean they can be a weak spot when it comes to letting cool air in. This is why Popular Mechanics recommends using insulated window treatments , which keeps that cool air out on days that aren’t so sunny.
Dealing with the Costs
The types of upgrades mentioned here can put a bit of a strain on the wallet, and you don’t want to blow your budget while trying to save on efficiency updates. Ideally, it’s best to handle some of these changes in the off-season when prices are lower or there are discounts. Your home emergency fund should be your first stop when it comes to paying for upgrades, but you may not have a fund or enough to cover updates. Credit cards are another route, but this locks you into a high interest rate, which means you’ll be paying more than you intended. One great option is to remortgage your home . You can access a lower interest rate and tap into your equity to make upgrades that will not only boost the value of your home but that will also pay for themselves in a few years. You may even end up with a lower monthly payment.
These changes may seem too small to make a difference, but every small action adds up to big savings. If you think about it, reducing your utility bills comes down to a simple equation: the less energy your home uses, the less you pay. There may be some upfront costs to making these upgrades and changes, but the results will be worth it in the long run.
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