You don’t have to live uncomfortably to reduce your power bill. It’s about understanding where your power is going and reducing consumption in areas that won’t affect your daily life.
Today I’m going to make it easy for you. All you need to do is take a few minutes out of your day and incorporate the tips you learn into your own household.
Let’s get started.
1. Check the type of your heater
There are two main types of heating: radiant and convective. Radiant heaters are mainly used to heat people and big spaces by direct radiation of heat, whereas convective heaters warm and move the air around in the room.
While all heaters produce air movement as the hot air rises from the heater to the ceiling, it’s important to choose the best type of heater for your needs.
Different forms of heating are best in different circumstances.
- If you have a larger room with high ceilings, a combination of radiant and convection is best.
- For smaller rooms, space convective heating is most effective
- Larger rooms with draughts or bathrooms that could let in outside air, radiant heating works best.
2. Check the size of your heater
Just as important as the type of heating you’re using is the size. There’s no point installing an oversized heater if you don’t need it – you’ll waste money and energy when it’s simply not necessary.
- Check the size of your heater and talk to your local heating and cooling store to see if there’s a size more suitable to your needs.
- Even if you find out you require a bigger system, there may be energy-efficient options available to save you money on operating costs.
3. Custom select the temperature on heater
The temperature the heater is set at plays a huge role in its energy consumption. In fact, each 1°C increase of the thermostat setting will save about 10% on your energy usage.
Here’s what you can do.
- Search for timer and thermostat controls
- Set your air conditioner at the highest temperature setting so you still feel cold enough – 25 ºC is usually a good place to start
- Monitor your electricity bill for 3 months and see if you notice a difference in the energy consumed.
4. Zone your home and only heat the rooms you’re using
Do you heat your whole house or selected rooms? Central heating heats the whole house whether individual rooms are being used or not. This could be up to 6 rooms in the house that are being heated, yet only 1 or 2 are actually occupied. Space heaters, on the other hand, only heat the room or area where the heater is operating.
In a house with central heating, the energy consumed and running costs are typically much higher than efficient space heating. Space heating – otherwise known as zone heating – can reduce running costs.
To save costs on your energy bill, you can:
- Shut every door in the house and only heat the rooms that are being used – perhaps just the living room.
- Try to avoid heating each bedroom – which could be up to 4 rooms of the house – and use non-electrical heating sources such as hot water bottles and blankets when your family moves to their bedrooms.
5. Seal off any draughts
Draughts can make you feel colder and prompt you to turn on the heater.
- You can use thick, heavy curtains with pelmets to prevent airflow from draughts and stop heat loss. Towels can also work block off the draught.
- Strategically position your furniture and household goods to to minimise the effects of draughts. For example, don’t sit your sofa right in front of the draught because you’ll feel the cold much more than if it was in another spot in the room.
- Don’t forget any pet doors. Although they can’t be completely avoided, there are options such as heavy curtains on each side of the door to minimise the cold air coming in.
6. Let in winter sun and draw curtains at night
Windows are a major source of heat loss in winter. According to Your Home, up to 40% of a home’s heating energy can be lost through windows. This means having energy-efficient windows make for a more comfortable, cheaper home to run.
So how can you improve the air that goes in and out of your windows?
- Hang heavy curtains or blankets over windows will add an exterior barrier to the cold, especially if you don’t have double-paned windows.
- Hanging heavy curtains or blankets around the bed (from the ceiling if you don’t have a four-poster bed) will help insulate you during the night by trapping body heat.
- Placing rugs on tile, linoleum, concrete or hardwood flooring will assist in insulation efforts.
7. Acclimatise yourself to the cold
Minimising your reliance on heating and cooling systems will, of course, reduce your power consumption.
Here’s how you can do it.
- As the weather changes, turn the airconditioner off as soon as possible and keep the windows open to allow your body to acclimate naturally to the changing weather.
- If you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans indoors, your thermostat is too high. Try flannel pajamas for the night time with thick socks, dress in warm layers during the day, invest in some wool socks and sweaters and turn that thermostat lower.
- Use more blankets – place wool blankets on couches and beds to layer up during winter.
- Avoid using too much heat while driving and keep the office slightly cooler so that your body remains adjusted to the idea that its winter.
8. Turn your heater on early
Try to only turn on your heater on cold days, instead of simply to keep comfortable. If you expect the day to be colder than usual, prepare the house by starting your heater early, rather than just waiting until your house is already cold.
All you need to do is:
- Check what the temperature is going to be on the following day
- Look for programmable timer and thermostat controls. This way, preset your heater if you’re not at home.
9. Clean your heaters filters
Filters play an important part of most modern heating and cooling systems. Cleaning or replacing these filters once every 6 months will improve the systems performance and reduce running costs. Dirt accumulates on the fan blades, making the compressor work harder and uses more energy. Airflow into your house is reduced and the system can be prone to problems, resulting in costly repairs.
To check your filters, you should:
- First check your manufacturer’s manual to see if there are any specific recommendations
- Search local filter replacement companies such as HealthEair.
10. Replace worn window seals and door seals
If your windows or doors have broken seals, it will create a draft and let cool air in. This often means you’ll believe there’s a problem with your heater, when really your heater is working fine. Seals need to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing your seals are simple – but you might like to look at hiring a professional if you’re not confident in doing it yourself.
Follow these three steps:
- Grab a pen and paper and walk around your whole house
- Write down a list of the seals which either look old or damaged
- Search for a local door seal replacement company and ask them investigating each window and door seal to come out to inspect each seal to see which ones need replacing.
11. Draughts around electrical sockets
You might not think of it but electrical sockets in your walls cause drafts because insulation isn’t often surrounding them.
- Remove the electrical socket cover and add acrylic latex caulk around it if you see any gaps.
- If you’re not comfortable touching electrical sockets, call an electrician or an insulation specialist and have them inspect it for you.
12. Heat loss in unused wood fireplace
You might have a wood fireplace but not always use it. You might not be home enough to warrant starting a fire, so you just switch on your electric heater. Unfortunately, heat escapes up the wood fireplace so your room doesn’t stay as warm as you’d like.
All you need to do is:
- Make sure the flue on your wood fireplace is closed to avoid air getting through. You might still find it doesn’t block all airflow, but it will dramatically reduce it to keep the room warm.
13. Use an electric blanket sparingly
Everyone loves hopping into a warm bed but electric blankets chew up a lot of power. However if you’re using a small room heater they can sometimes use more power than an electric blanket, so it’s important to check your power bill to weigh up its consumption.
What you can do is:
- Switch to using an electric blanket 4 weeks but only turn it on 1 hour before bed, and then turn it off.
14. Install Double Glazed Windows
(for long term energy savings)
Your windows are responsible for up to a 40% loss in your home’s heat. This loss comes from two processes called ‘radiation’ and ‘convective current.’ Radiation is where the room’s heat passes directly through the glass to the outside. A ‘convective current’ occurs when the hot air comes in contact with the cold glass, cools down rapidly, sinks to the floor and creates a current to pull more warm air in to replace it, then the process starts again.
There are many ways to reduce this impact such as curtains and films on the window pane but the most effective is to install double glazed windows. This will require an upfront investment but the energy savings every year will more than make up for it in the long run.
- Explore our website for more information about our Double Glazing solutions
- Contact us to ask any questions and get a quote
Regardless of the type of heating system you operate in your home, you can save money, without affecting your comfort, by following these 14 strategies. Always remember, an energy-efficient heater alone won’t have a great impact on your energy bills – rather it’s a whole-house approach.
Talk to Double Glazed for more advice on reducing your energy costs.