The Best and the Cheapest Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter
The central heating systems at home happen to be one of the biggest consumers of energy for homes in colder climates. If homeowners can reduce this figure, they can significantly cut energy bills while contributing to reduced carbon emissions. Fortunately, it is possible to lower the energy required for central heating by following some simple steps. Let’s see them.
A significant chunk of the heat that enters the house through the central heating system goes out through the roof. How to keep a cold house warm? It is possible to reduce this heat loss by adding more insulation to the loft. For example, an additional 25 cm of insulation will be able to minimize heat escape by one third. Unfortunately, this is not an inexpensive option, but it can end up saving in the long run. Some estimates predict that it would be possible to save around €200 a year through reduced heating bills.
Using Programmable Thermostat
It is not advisable to use a manual thermostat if saving energy is of paramount importance. An automatic thermostat will be able to do a much better job at keeping temperatures to optimum levels. One can also program these automatic thermostats in such a way that they work less during the day – when the house is mostly empty – and perform well during the night. If not required, the heater can be turned off during the daytime to save a considerable amount of energy.
Effective Use of Curtains
Sunlight can provide free heating to the house, and it is crucial to maximizing its availability. This can be done by opening up curtains during the daytime so that maximum sunlight is brought into the house. During the night, these curtains can be used to prevent heat from escaping since they are now acting as a layer of insulation. Added steps can be taken to ensure that warm air stays inside while cold air remains out. This also helps lower condensation.
Avoid Blocking Radiator
It may feel extremely cozy and lovely to have a sofa near a radiator. However, this can be a highly inefficient way of getting heat into the house. How to keep the house warm? Most of the heat generated by the heating system is taken up by the sofa, and hot air struggles to circulate throughout the home. Hence, the radiator should be kept free from blocks – even through drying clothes or curtains. This would maximize the spread of heat around the house.
Opting for a Minimum Temperature
It is possible to get huge savings by choosing a slight increase in the minimum temperature. Even a 1° increase in the thermostat can reduce heating bills by as much as 10%. The World Health Organisation has famously recommended a minimum temperature of just 21°C, and this would minimize heating bills even further. Even though having 16°C on the thermostat sounds and feels extremely good, it can end up hurting electricity bills in the long run.
If roofs are responsible for losing around 25% of the heat, floors are also a significant contributor with a loss of 10%. This loss can be quite substantial in the case of a story that has not been insulated. Unlike roofs, A cheap way to heat a room is by covering a floor with blankets and rugs. Apart from preventing heat from escaping, these insulation materials can end up keeping the feet warm.
Closing Unused Rooms
It is no secret that larger homes need a large amount of energy to heat during the winter. In most cases, these large houses would have rooms that are kept unused for an extended period. There is little point in wasting energy to heat up these rooms. It can be prevented by shutting the doors that lead up to these rooms. It keeps the cold air inside those rooms, and heaters do not have to work unnecessarily.
Maintenance of Doors and Windows
There is a significant likelihood of heat escaping through doors and windows – particularly in older homes.
- If maintenance of these outlets is not done regularly, they can end up having leaks.
- One should check whether strips on the door and window frames. If any strip needs replacement, a high-quality brand should be used. It can be seen for a long time.
- Any air leaks that occur around chimneys should be avoided, and flues should be kept closed when there is no fire.
- A replacement of screen doors can be done with storm doors, and the screens can be stored until the weather becomes hot again.
Opting for Dual-Purpose Ceiling Fans
The requirement of a ceiling fan goes down drastically during winter months, but some products may come with a winter setting. This effectively makes it rotate in an anticlockwise direction, which has the opposite effect of wind blowing from the fan. Instead of blowing from a fan, the air is sucked up to the ceiling. Since hot air always rises up, this mode helps push heat towards the room rather than spend most of the near the ceilings. This may not be a very efficient way, but it can certainly produce a result.
Using Automatic Space Heaters
Space heaters are a great way to bring heat inside individual rooms. However, there is a significant risk of a fire at the other options listed here. Space heaters end being responsible for a large chunk of fire-related accidents in the house. Even then, it can be a very efficient way if used only with a lot of care. These products should be used only in the presence of adults, and they should be shut off when exiting the room.
Winter can be a troublemaker for many households in terms of energy requirements. However, it is possible to save a lot of electricity and cut carbon emissions by following these simple steps. Crucially, these steps will help you stay comfortable and warm inside.
About the Author
Kay Burton is a writer for homemakerguide.com and an expert mechanic, gardener, builder and a DIY specialist that can repair and fix everything that’s related to a house and garden. His many years of experience can get you the right tool reviews whether it is a drill, welding machine or so and give you a lot of unique advice about gardening and home maintenance in general.