During colder months, what we can notice is that most things are slowing down, and it looks like it is coming to a standstill at home, except for one are; our home heating. Those who spend a lot of time at home, especially now that a lot of people work from home full-time, may notice that the bill for heating is rising drastically. When that happens, and that’s almost every year, we are all surprised and want to find a way to reduce those costs if it is even possible. The short answer to that question is: Yes, there are things that we can do to spare some money on heating, and depending on which option you choose, you can save less or more money. So what can be done to lower heating costs at a time of year when it is necessary?
Here are six unique ways to lower heating costs, from small adjustments to getting new heating types you may not have thought of before.
1. Start shopping around providers
If someone primarily uses gas or electricity for home heating, there will always be another provider looking for new clients. Although this may sound silly or seem like a not that important thing to mention, doing proper research is always necessary, especially when searching for something regarding our budget. The easiest way to lower costs is through a little research and calling up local providers. Do research online, learn about their options, and get on the phone. You’re more likely to find a better deal talking with an actual person, and even if you don’t immediately switch, call the existing provider and let them know that there are better deals on the market. They’ll usually want to keep you as a customer and offer some goodies.
Changing providers is easy, as no one wants to lose their customers, so this way, you will certainly save at least a little. Of course, in order to achieve this, it is necessary to have enough information, which brings us back to the main thing – doing proper research. Just remember the saying – Information is power.
2. Playing around with the thermostat
Ever find that when you’re cooking something and use the oven, it might not turn out the way you want following the temperature on a recipe. It’s down to all ovens being ever so slightly different. That is why a little finesse and playing around helps us figure out the ideal temperature in our ovens, and we can apply the same thing for our thermostats. No two houses are the same, and each one needs to be heated in a different way.
That’s why I always recommend taking the time to learn how the thermostat/central heating hub works and how to adjust everything according to that gathered info. If you do that and realize you’re not using things correctly, you can cut costs immediately and save a lot of money. You may need a little more time to determine if and to what extent you manage to heat all the rooms and at the same time adjust the thermostat to save money, but once you find the ideal option, it will pay off many times over. The thermostat is where our heating starts and one of the most important parts of our heating system, and we need to act accordingly.
3. Ditching old radiators
The traditional radiator relies on a boiler to work, and it’s rare to see the price of oil and gas on a downward trend. If someone has the time and resources and know that they need new radiators at home, it may be worth switching to electric radiators instead. The benefits of this change to the home are plenty, and in the long run, it will reduce the heating bill. Another advantage is that they don’t cost as much as everyone thinks (just look at some of the prices at TradeRadiators), and they aren’t as expensive to get installed due to only needing an outlet nearby to get going.
They also act independently, making them a good choice if someone is looking to heat individual rooms. This change may sound like an expensive investment, but one should always look at the bigger picture and plan for the future.
4. Replacing bulbs
How can replacing bulbs help with heating? It’s a slightly abstract way of thinking about things, but I am referring to the costs involved in powering certain elements in the home, especially if one finds themselves spending a lot on heating.
Just like adjusting the thermostat, look for ways to lower costs elsewhere that can help balance out heating bills. For example, I am guessing many homes now have at least one smart speaker plugged in all day. While some may think that it is more convenient to do so, it will be drawing electricity just like a Wi-Fi hub or fridge will. Take a look around the room and see if there is any device that you can turn off for longer periods to offset the cost of running heating.
One of the most common reasons why people often think that it is better to leave everything plugged in is the myth that by doing so, they will really save money. And yes, on the one hand, when you continually turn some device on and off, it will affect and increase the total cost for heating.
Therefore, it should be emphasized once again that if it is possible to turn off a device for a longer period of time – it is something completely different and something that will have a high effect on reducing your monthly bill.
5. Double-check your boiler’s guarantee
I’m based in the UK, where gas boilers are a common sight in most homes. I’d make a fair guess that most people with one wouldn’t know for how long their boiler has been installed and for how long it is meant to last. It’s a common thing to overlook that until some problem occurs, but it is all a reason more for changing the boiler in time. A decent gas boiler only has a lifespan of 10-15 years, and once it reaches that point, you should see efficiency dip the more you use it.
I recommend that everyone should check how old is their boiler, and in case of needing a new one, even the gas provider will provide a discount for installing a new one.
In case it is still under warranty, regular maintenance is a must because it will not only extend its lifespan but also reduce costs. Of course, the older the boiler, the harder it will have to work to heat the house, which certainly affects the bill, but you can actually save some money with annual maintenance.
6. No more obstructions
Here’s a little secret about me when it comes to the heating being on in the morning. When I wake up, and just before I go to the bathroom, I will pop a pair of socks on top of a radiator. That way, when I’m getting dressed, I know I’ll have a nice toasty pair of socks to put on.
Why am I mentioning this? Because it is the only time that you should do that and have something on the radiator. If you’re guilty of hanging clothes to dry on a radiator or have one tucked away behind a sofa, you need to stop obstructing it. Doing so will limit the natural flow of air through the radiator and trick it into thinking that it needs to work harder. An additional disadvantage is the evaporation of moisture due to which mold grows.
Just one example. According to studies, putting a desk too close to the radiator can increase the heating bill up to 15 percent.
These are just six ways to lower costs but effective ones. I could have given at least another dozen, but we’ll have to leave that for another time.