The top three costs of owning a home are the mortgage, taxes, and energy bills, in that order. And a large portion of energy bills are made up of the cost of heating a home in winter. So, if you really want to save some money, you need to look at slashing those heating bills. Here are a few ideas to help you out.
Install Room Thermostats
If you turn the heating down by one degree, you could save up to 3 per cent on your heating bill. Since most of us have the heating turned up too high anyway, one degree won't make much of a difference. But if you really want to slash those bills, you could turn your heating down a lot more, especially during the day when you're not home.
Also, consider turning the heating down in rooms in which you don’t spend a lot of time. For example, consider turning the heating down in your bedroom during the day, and in the living areas during the evening and night, when you aren't using those rooms.
Once you've installed room thermostats, you can do a test. Set the system to 18°C and then turn it up a degree every day until you find the right temperature. You might be surprised by how much lower it is than the temperature you're usually used to. Not only will you save on heating bills, but you'll also feel more energetic because too much heat can actually make you sluggish.
To make sure your room thermostats are doing their job properly, install them where there is free air flow and they aren't blocked by curtains or furniture. Also keep them away from any heat sources, which includes televisions, electric fires, and light sources, or they won't be able to measure the room temperature accurately.
Get a Programmer for Your Heating System
A programmer will let you handle your heating like a pro. It's a great way to manage your heating bill because it lets you set up schedules for your boiler throughout the week. So, you can set the boiler to run hotter while you're home and awake, a little cooler while you're asleep, and switch it off completely while you're out.
While you can do all this manually, it's a lot easier with a programmer because once you set the schedule, it all happens on autopilot. And it's also quite easy to change the schedule if your plans have changed.
Check Your Insulation
You'd be surprised at how much money you can save by making sure your home is properly insulated. If you have a newer home, there's a good chance it has cavity walls. Adding insulation can save you as much as £270 every year, and it will only cost you around £150 to put in.
Loft insulation is also essential. The thicker it is, the better. Not only will it keep the cold air out, but it will keep the warm air in as well, which can lead to savings of up to £175 per year.
If you have an older property with solid walls, then consider external or internal insulation. It might be a somewhat pricey job, but considering it renews the appearance of your home, and can drop your energy bills by as much as £475 per year, it's certainly worth it.
Despite the fact that many of us complain about how high our bills are, not many people are proactive in terms of cutting costs, especially when it comes to heating. While no one says you should be living in a cold home, in most cases turning down the temperature won't affect your comfort at all. And remember, by managing the heating in your home properly, you'll save money and also help save the environment.
Lelsie writes for Claddagh Oil and other small business websites in Ireland.