8 Tips for Saving Money on Your Heating Bill in Big Bear
Heating your living space can be quite expensive. In the US, the average consumer spends between five hundred to more than a thousand dollars on heating in a year. The bills you pay at any point in time vary based on the weather, the fuel you use, and how you manage heat.
This article will explore eight tips that will save you money on your heating bill, helping you cut costs a lot better.
8 Tips That Will Save You Money on Your Heating Bill
The following are tips for saving money on your heating bill:
This involves controlling the warmth in your house at specific periods. Smart thermostats are the most popular way to do this as they supply your house with heat based on how you program them. For instance, you can set your thermostat to reduce flow during the hours you are not home then increase it before you return. With this, you can prevent any unnecessary use of heat.
However, it is vital to understand the nuances, too. If you reside in a cold environment or have kids around, your heating needs will be different. In the former, you need adequate heat to warm your water pipes. While on the other hand, babies and toddlers require sufficient heat for a good sleep.
Seal the Holes in Your House
Heat is commonly lost through a multitude of holes in the house. Because they are small and, most times, seem normal, you likely do not notice them. Securing winter heat requires that you block these escape routes to retain warmth. You can do this over the weekend with silicone or caulk.
You may also want to insulate your switches and power outlets to ensure they leave no room for heat loss.
Naturally, shutting the vents in unused rooms sounds like a great idea. But an important thing to understand before doing this is the way your heating system works. The HVAC maintains the heat level in your home by regulating the release of heat. When you seal the vents, it can create increased air pressure in the system, heightening the risk of duct damage.
You can prevent this from happening by partially opening the vents in unused rooms.
Ceiling fans are a great way to cut back your heating costs. You can set them to work in reverse, creating an effect where they force heat back into the room. It would be best to keep the velocity low, so you don’t get sudden drafts of heat.
This is perhaps the fastest way to determine your areas of loss. An energy auditor will help you locate spots that allow heat to escape using a special device. They will also examine other household appliances to check their energy efficiency. You can get an auditor at your utility company for a fee.
This is an adhesive and flexible product. You can install this around the top, bottom, and sides of your doors and windows to control loss. Weather Stripping comes in various forms in the market, and it’s important to buy one that serves a long-term purpose. It costs around $10 and is an even greater fit if your house is old.
In addition to stripping, you can get door sweeps. With these, you can seal the base of your exterior doors to shut the openings there.
Your attic is a likely escape route for your heat. Insulating it will help reduce, if not completely prevent, loss. You can do this by covering up the entrance with different materials such as old clothes, blankets, stripping, etc.
Your oven does a lot of services but can help with even more. After using it in the kitchen, you can open the oven door slightly to allow heat to flow into the room. Doing this means that your HVAC has a little less work to do.
Types of Heating Systems and How They Might Help You Save Money
Here, we discuss the types of heating systems and how to save money on your heating bill with each one:
Natural Gas Furnace
This system is the most popular in American homes. Its fuel, natural gas, is also the most common fuel used in providing household heat. The furnace relies on air ducts and a blower motor to circulate warm air through vents.
While furnaces commonly run on natural gas, you can also find ones that use heating oil, propane, or electricity. You can determine how much fuel goes into heating your home with an annual fuel efficiency ratio (AFUE). The higher the percentage of your AFUE, the more efficient your furnace will be.
Usually, you will find furnaces with AFUE between 60 and 90%. Over 90 percent means that your furnace is highly efficient. But if it is less than 80, it is best to change your furnace. A highly efficient unit saves you from wasting heat by channelling the energy through another exchanger. The system expels combustion gases through a side wall vent.
Space heaters are relatively cheap to buy but expensive to use. The heater functions by converting electric current from the wall socket into heat for your space. Electric heaters cost more than their purchase price after a short period of use.
Concerning how to save money on your heating bill using an electric heater, you need to stay close to it while ensuring that your central heat is off. Always check to see that you’re following all the proper safety procedures.
Ductless Mini-splits and Heat Pumps
Heat pumps perform a dual role. You can use them to either warm or cool your home. A heat pump siphons air from the surrounding area and runs it through a compressor. From here, it redistributes heat through a fan-based system.
There are two major kinds of heat pumps, namely air-source and ground-source. A heat pump can draw heat from very low temperatures even when you think there can’t be any. It works in a similar manner to your refrigerator, such that it extracts the heat and transfers it to your interior.
Air-source pumps are the most popular kind of heat pump. You can find them in ductless mini-split versions that make your home comfortable. Efficiency-wise, heat pumps are the better option if you live in a fairly temperate region. They will serve your home well if the temperature is not extremely cold and you don’t require much heating from your system.
Ordinarily, boilers seem like they heat the enclosed water to a boiling point. But in reality, what they do is heat the water, which then dispenses heat as it travels through radiators in your home. A boiler can use a variety of fuels such as natural gas, propane, electricity, and biodiesel.
Boilers, unlike the furnace, do not circulate their warmth through ducts. Instead, they operate relying on a pump that carries water to pipes, radiators, then to every room. You could install zone thermostats for every room to control the heat there. However, you could also opt for a ductless mini-split in the absence of a boiler.
Compared to a furnace, boilers are not as efficient. While they can last for almost as long in terms of lifespan, their efficiency ranges between 50-90%. When considering how to save money on your heating bill, it is important to know that they are also costly to install and may end up with frozen pipes.
Wood Burning Stoves and Fireplaces
Fireplaces might appear interesting, but in terms of your heating needs, they may not be the best. They pose the risk of indoor air pollution and may even lose more heat than they provide, especially if there’s no sealing door in place.
However, if you reside in a rural location, it makes sense to get a fireplace. There are EPA-certified options that can meet your needs. If you want to maximize the warmth from your fireplace, the best thing is to have a circulation system. This should carry the heat where you want it.
You may also want to consider the quality of your indoor air, your comfort, efficiency, and temperature control before installing this system. Be sure to have your appliance cleaned and inspected regularly to maintain it.
Other Tips That Will Save You Money on Your Heating Bill
Above, we have mentioned tips that will save you money on your heating bill, but your habits can play a role, too. Rather than responding to cold by cranking up the room’s heat, you can adjust by wearing warm clothes. This includes having blankets around your living room and wearing socks. You could also maintain a rule to wear warm clothes around the house.
During the day, leave the windows open to let in the sunlight, then close them later to capture the warmth. This way, you will have to spend less on heating every winter.
Most important, however, are your indoor insulation and equipment maintenance. You can save considerable money on your bill by properly maintaining your equipment, ventilating your home, and insulating all the right places. You will also prevent energy waste.
Contact Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating in Big Bear Today!
In this article, we have discussed several tips that will save you money on your heating bill. These include strategic use of your oven, ceiling fans, installing Weather Stripping, and running an energy audit. We have also discussed heating systems and their levels of efficiency.
Often, installing a heating system may come with some dilemma. If you are replacing or modifying your HVAC and are not sure which one is best for your home, contact us at Bear Valley to advise you on it. Our experts will evaluate your home and preferences to help you find the most suitable fit. We provide high-quality and responsive service every hour of the day, all through the week.