Staying Warm on a Budget with Heating System Tips

Here are some low-cost tips to staying warm in winter weather!

  • Thick curtains can actually improve your home’s ability to retain heat. The thicker they are (especially when coupled with thermal lining) the better they keep your home warm. As an added bonus, outfitting the sun-facing side of your home with curtains can significantly lower your energy costs.
  • Be sure to use your programmable thermostat. The difference of a few degrees every day turns into big savings in the long run. Having the right setting at the right time of day is way more cost efficient and can help lower your heating bills immediately.
  • It may seem silly, but using tin foil to patch up your radiator can actually help improve its effectiveness. It actually radiates the lost heat back into the unit, causing it to use less energy. Specialty tin foil, designed specifically for this function, can be purchased from most home improvement stores.
  • Every now and then it may help to check out the competition for your energy supplier. This is especially true if you’ve been with your provider for an extended time. Switching up the company (after making sure to check the prices first!) can potentially save you a lot of money on heating bills.
  • Keeping dry. It may sound simple enough, but basically eliminating moisture (from your boots, gloves, or building up around your collar) can actually keep you warmer. Given that any water will chill you further in cold weather this can be an invaluable lesson in listening to what mom always used to say.
  • For windows, there’s now a film on the market that will act as an affordable insulator. This is imitating doubled paned windows in a process known as double glazing. This can only be done however, with windows that are completely sealed in the first place. Even a crack will make the product ineffective.
  • A very common error that most people don’t even have on the radar is furniture placement. The number one issue that escapes notice is a couch, sofa, or upholstery placed lengthwise along the heater. This actually absorbs the heat that would otherwise be warming you, and causes your heater to work harder, costing you more money. Simply arranging your furniture with heating in mind can help your wallet.
  • Your chimney can be a major factor when it comes to heating your living room. There seem to be three methods of dealing with this, either use a chimney balloon, a cap, or seal up the flue altogether. Generally the second is preferable, as it will retain a good portion of your heat without serious alterations and balloons have a tendency to be forgotten after the winter.
  • Keeping hydrated can actually make it easier for your body to heat itself. It may sound like a health commercial speaking, but medically you need just as much water in the winter as you do for those summer months. It’s just that in summer we can see the liquid escaping in sweat, in winter we have to remember to drink more than just hot chocolate.
  • Keep unused rooms sealed up. Any spare or guest rooms should be closed and properly insulated to save on heating costs. Door weather stripping can be relatively inexpensive and help keep the energy costs low.


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