Depending on the climate where you live, heating your home during the winter can be a something of an afterthought or a life-or-death necessity. The good news is, technology has brought us all kinds of ways to increase the efficiency of your home heating system, so you can keep more money in your bank account and spend less warding off the cold. Check out the tips below to find our favorite ways to keep your home warm and toasty this winter and reduce your heating bill wherever you live.
Invest in a Space Heater
Space heaters are the most efficient means of turning electricity into heat energy and have the advantage of being easy to transport. Although getting the same amount of heat from space heaters uses more energy overall than from a centralized heating system, if you spend most of your time in just a small section of your house a space heater is a smart option. Instead of increasing the temperature on the thermostat and using that system to warm the entire house, Money Under 30 suggests using a space heater to make the areas you use most nice and comfortable, while the rest of the house stays a few degrees cooler and your central heating system doesn't need to work as hard.
Check Out Pellet Stoves
Pellet stoves are fast becoming a favorite heating method for those in more remote locations or looking to supplement an existing system because they use sustainable materials and are highly efficient. Tiny House Huge Ideas explains that fuel for pellet stoves is grown using sustainable wood farms that don't reduce the number of trees in the world and don't cause damage to the local environment like gas and oil can. Best of all, less infrastructure is required to store pellets for fuel during the cold winter months, saving you from propane or other gas systems that require large tanks to be installed and often buried underground. Pellet stoves are also more efficient than fossil fuel alternatives.
Insulate Your Pipes
Common Sense Home offers a tip on often overlooked sources of inefficiency - insulation for the pipes that carry heat throughout your home. Adding insulation to pipes carrying hot air or water to their destination within your home reduces the energy lost through the pipe to the surrounding air that doesn't usually reach the area you're trying to keep warm. Since most pipe insulation is soft foam, it can also be a welcome addition to low hanging pipes that lightens the blow if you bump your head!
Let the Sun Shine In
This tip is as old as modern homes, but it makes a huge difference to your winter heating bills. The Huffington Post reminds us to open the curtains on sunny days to let the heat stream through! Not only will this added energy add several degrees of warmth to rooms getting extra sunlight, any pets around the house will appreciate the warm spot on the floor, too! Don't forget to close curtains again at night to stop heat escaping through comparatively thin and porous windows.
Free Your Vents
All too often during the warm months of the year rooms are redecorated or furniture is arranged in a way that sticks around through the winter. This Old House reminds us that this can have a serious impact on the heating efficiency of your home if vents are crowded or blocked off completely, causing the warm air to mostly be transferred into the offending fabric or wood where it's not much use. Keep furniture well clear of vents, radiators, and other heat sources to maximize the heating power of your system when you need it most.
The winter months may be dark and short, but they don't have to be cold inside your home! Using these tips, you can stay warm and toasty all winter while paying less each month.