It is that time of year again when people start to think of ways to reduce there energy bills. Peak winter is upon us and energy bills have started to creak up again. But believe it or not,
there are numerous ways homeowners can keep their houses warm and decrease their gas bills without having to pay too much for this privilege. Below are 6 easy DIY tips to decrease your natural gas bills during the winter.
1) Turn Down your Thermostat – This may sound obvious, but it is the most effective and easiest way of bringing down your heating bills.
If you have a programmable thermostat this is good news as you can program your thermostat to decrease the heating levels when you leave the house or when you go to sleep.
2) Buy energy efficient appliances – Old appliances may last longer but are much more expensive to run. Every year, appliances get more energy efficient and brands are particularly focussed around this area as they base there advertising around energy efficiency. I am not saying go and throw out all your old appliances and buy all new ones but if you are looking to buy an appliance, buy a newer rather than a older model. The pricing difference between a newer model and the older model may be little but the energy saving could be huge!
3) Start Insulating your windows – if you have old windows, the chances are a lot of the hot air you will be generating from your radiators or fireplace will seep out of your house. Rather than going out and getting new windows, sealing windows can be a quicker and an inexpensive way of fixing this problem. One of the ways to do this is by caulking all your windows and doors. Additionally, by putting insulation film on windows (not the most aesthetically pleasing) could insulate your home even further. These plastic films are very inexpensive and easy to apply to any window. They will certainly curb drafts and could lower your heating bills by as much as 14%.
4) Fix Drafty Doors – Like windows, doors could be a major source of heat loss. If you have a ‘faulty’ door, they could be a constant draft that comes in through the bottom, resulting in loss of warm air. To fix this, you can get additional insulation fitted to your door to help overcome this problem.
5) Decrease the Water Temperature – One tip I recently got told was to lower the temperature on your hot water heater. It accounts for anywhere from 14-25% of your energy bill and by lowering it by 10 degrees, you can save 3-5% on your bill. Most homeowners may not know this, but your thermostats have internal temperatures that are preset when you purchase them. Most manufacturers preset their product at 75 degrees Celsius. From what I understand, this pre-set temperature is above where it ideally needs to be and you can lower the temperature by a good amount (to about 50 degrees) without the water loosing much warmth.
6) Adjust the fireplace – Another terrific source of heat in your household is the good old fireplace. There is nothing quiet like a fireplace as it gives a home a cozier feel in the winter. But like windows and doors as mentioned above, the fireplace is another route heat generally takes to leave the home. Make sure you shut the fireplace damper and seal the opening when you are not using it.
Think of the damper like an extra window. You wouldn’t leave a window open in the winter while your heat is on, right?