There are quite a few simple things that can be done to reduce the costs associated with heating a home. A foil barrier can be placed between radiators and outside walls to help project the heat into the room. A shelf or sheath can also be placed directly above a radiator to project the heat into the room instead of upward to the ceiling. Special emphasis should be put on the efficiency of bathing and dish washing because the heating of water takes up a big chunk of home energy usage. Water used for showering or bathing should be as cool as is comfortable, and the time allotted for bathing and showing should be as short as possible.
Energy costs can also be reduced by making sure your heating source is running as efficiently as possible. A furnace tune up before the cold weather season sets in is always a good idea. Late summer is always a great time to replace the furnace filter. It’s also a good idea to have a professional HVAC company inspect your furnace for any potentially hazardous or wasteful situations.
A programmable digital thermostat is another great way to make sure your furnace is functioning efficiently. The thermostat can be set to a warm temperature when occupants are in the house, and for cooler temperatures at night or when occupants are normally not in the home. The thermostat can be manually overridden if someone should happen to be home when the house is normally on a cooler cycle. Setting the highest warming temperature at 72 degrees will help conserve energy. Home occupants can wear sweaters to keep warm inside during the coldest part of winter.
Curtains or blinds can be open during the day to allow the natural heat of the sun into the house. Close the curtains or blinds during the night to keep the accumulated heat inside the home.
A boiler blanket should be wrapped around the hot water heater and insulation should cover the indoor pipes to help keep as much heat as possible inside the plumbing heating system. Make sure the boiler blanket and the insulation are safe to use on each individual heating system.
Check to see if your gas or electric company do free energy audits. This can help identify places in the home where heat is escaping. These problem areas can generally be fixed with a minimum amount of money and time. The longer an energy leak goes undetected, the more money simply evaporates into the outside atmosphere. Over a long period of time, energy savings can be very substantial once the leaks are plugged.
Check to see if your utility company has an efficiency program. Often, utility companies will pay for programmable thermostats and some even offer subsidies on energy improvement initiatives like insulated roof linings.
You can hold a piece tissue paper along the inside of a window to see if there are any gaps that are letting in drafty air. You can then use weather stripping to plug those leaks and keep your heat inside the house.