Winter heating bills can quickly get out of control. Whether you have central heating, or gas, oil or fan heaters for individual rooms, the costs can quickly add up, particularly if you’re not careful how you run your heating.
However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your heating costs. A good starting point is to compare your power consumption with similar properties in your area. You can quickly and easily do this online by visiting Victorian Energy Compare.
If your energy usage is significantly higher than similar properties in your area throughout the winter, the reason will often be your heating system. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to reduce your reliance on your heating system and cut back on the work it has to do.
Following these tips can reduce your heating bills by more than 50% in some cases. Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be cutting back on your power usage, which is good for the environment.
- Insulate your Home
Installing proper roof insulation is one of the best ways to reduce your reliance on your heating system. Insulation can significantly reduce thermal transfer throughout your house, helping to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. There are plenty of different types of insulation to choose from including a number of eco-friendly insulation options.
If your home is already insulated, it’s worth checking whether your insulation is performing at its best. If your insulation has been water damaged, then its insulating properties are pretty much gone and it will need to be replaced.
- Seal windows and doors
If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, then they will be letting in cold draughts and letting out the warm air during the winter. This means your heating system will have to work harder to keep the house warm.
There are a number of ways you can combat this. Installing weather stripping around window and door frames will help to cut down on draughts. Even something as simple as using a door snake will help to reduce draughts and heat loss.
- Install double glazing
Double glazed windows are absolutely brilliant for reducing your heating bills. The majority of a building’s thermal transfer happens through the windows. Double glazing uses two panes of glass with a layer of inert gas sealed between. This provides an extra layer of insulation, dramatically reducing heat loss through the windows. Double glazing is suitable for glass windows and doors. Some companies will even retrofit double glazing onto your existing windows.
- Use curtains or blinds
If you don’t have double glazing, the next best option is making sure you have curtains or blinds on all large windows. Heavy window fabric will significantly reduce heat loss through your windows by providing another layer of insulation over the glass. Since windows are the primary point of heat loss in a house, this will help reduce the work your heating system has to do to heat the house.
- Minimise the heating zone
Some central heating systems are all or nothing, meaning they are either on and heating the whole house or off and heating nothing. This is hugely wasteful and means you’re likely paying for much more heating energy than you actually need.
Try to only heat the areas of the house that you’re actually using. For example, when you’re in bed, chances are you only need the bedroom heated. Instead of using your central heating to heat the whole house, invest in an oil heater. Set it on a low heat and use the timer to turn it off after you go to sleep. That way you’re only using a small amount of energy to heat the area you need at the time you need it.
It’s also smart to keep the doors closed so that the heat stays within the heated rooms. Anything you can do to make sure your heating system has the smallest possible area to heat will help keep those power bills down.
- Use a low heat setting
Setting your thermostat to high may get the house toasty warm, but it will cost you an absolute fortune. Try to keep your heater set to around 20℃. This will create a comfortable room temperature while minimising the work your heater has to do. If your heating system is using less energy, you’re spending less money.
- Use a timer for your heating system
While it might be super cosy to fall asleep with the heater on, leaving the system running for eight hours while you sleep is one of the worst things you can do. It basically means you’re paying for an entire night’s worth of heating that no one needs.
Make sure your heater has a timer and that it’s set to switch off no more than 30 minutes after you go to bed.
- Dress warmly and use extra blankets
Setting the heater to high and wandering round the house in shorts and a T-shirt is basically just burning money. When it’s winter, dress like it’s winter. Embrace cosy woolen jumpers and keep plenty of blankets around the house to snuggle up in. The warmer you dress, the less you need to rely on your heating system.
- Service your heating system
Make sure you get your heating system professionally serviced every year before winter kicks in. A poorly maintained heating system won’t be running at peak efficiency and will likely be costing you more to run than is necessary.
Remember that heating is a luxury. And for a lot of Aussie homes, it’s an expensive luxury. Don’t waste your money with poor heating habits. Don’t damage the environment with unnecessary energy usage. Be smart with your heating and save money this winter.