We are experiencing a great fall with beautiful colors and chilled temperatures. It will soon be winter, and with that comes freezing weather and a desperate wish that you lived someplace warmer. While the visions of snow-covered hills are lovely, the frozen toes and fingers and red noses are not so pleasant. With the new telecommuting working environment, this means that you will have less windshield scraping but more Heating Costs in your home. How can you save money on heating while working from home?
Close Off Sections of Your Home
One of the easiest methods of saving on heating costs while you are at home is to close off the rooms that you are not actively occupying. Just close the vents in this room and set a rolled towel at the bottom of the door to keep cold air escaping. However, if you have children at home, and everyone needs their own space to attend virtual classes, shutting down sections of your home may prove impossible.
Consider a Smart Thermostat
According to Energy Star, if you have a programmable thermostat and use the pre-programmed settings appropriately, then you have the potential of saving $180 every year on energy costs. A smart thermostat from manufacturers such as Honeywell, Nest, and Ecobee sense the environment’s temperature. If minor temperature changes occur from baking or warm air from showers, the thermostat will adjust accordingly.
When you consider purchasing a smart thermostat check with your energy utility company, they might provide a rebate for getting a new thermostat.
Check the Insulation in Your Attic
This solution is a long term answer for keeping your home both warm and cool. When a home has the appropriate amount of insulation, both in the attic and in the rest of the house, it will cut heating and cooling costs. Over time insulation can break down, which decreases its effectiveness. The best way to determine if your home needs more insulation is to employ an insulation expert to come into your home to view the attic or crawl space to verify your home’s R-value. Energy Star has published recommended R-values for houses based on location here.
While this solution is not aesthetically pleasing, it provides some savings by not allowing that precious heat to escape. In some homes, the weather stripping around the windows is not what it used to be. Until you can fix the windows or the weather stripping, you can install window shrink film to insulate windows and decrease the drafts in your home.
Installing Solar Panels
Besides the obvious warm clothing, another long-term solution to your heating costs is investing in solar panels for your home. The keyword on this is investment because it will have significant upfront costs but will pay for itself over the long term. Installing solar panels will decrease your overall energy costs, no matter what season it is, and you could take advantage of some tax deductions to reduce your total costs of the panels.
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