If you’ve ever paid for home heating throughout the winter months, you know this can be a costly affair. Additionally, the colder your locale, the more you can expect to pay. As such, people who hail from parts of the country that are consistently slammed by harsh winter weather often see their finances depleted during the wintertime.
If this describes your home heating situation, there’s no time like the present to start bringing costs under control – and the following tips are sure to prove helpful in this endeavor.
Build More Fireplace Fires
If your home features a usable fireplace, why not provide yourself with some budget-conscious heat by putting it to good use? Just remember to adhere to proper safety guidelines. For example, your fireplace and chimney need to be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. Additionally, any potential sources of obstruction should be cleared from the top of the chimney, as this will help facilitate the safe flow of gases. By the same token, all of your home’s chimney flues should be outfitted with durable caps. The right caps will be able to block various types of obstruction, thereby enabling gases to flow safely.
It’s also imperative that you avoid using liquid fire-starters. For one thing, they aren’t designed for this type of fire. The accelerants found in liquid starters can cause house-fires and leave behind residues that ignite inside the fireplace and chimney, paving the way for fires in those areas, as well. As such, make a point of sticking with fire-starters that are designed specifically for fireplace fires, like dependable firewood.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Space Heaters
Energy-efficient space heaters are among the most cost-effective home heating aids. Among their benefits is allowing you to heat specific spaces without wasting money on providing heat to areas of your home that aren’t in use. Depending on the type of space heater you invest in, you may find it to be every bit as effective as an HVAC unit, albeit on a much smaller scale. For best results, take care to follow the safety instructions that come with your space heater(s) to the letter. As cost-effective as these heaters can be, they can also prove dangerous when misused. With this in mind, make a point of carefully reading the directions and getting in touch with the manufacturer if you’re left with any questions.
Seal Drafts in Doors and Windows
Drafts found in your home’s doors and windows can provide warm air with a clear exit and cold air with a clear entrance. You can nip this problem in the bud by thoroughly inspecting your doors and windows for the presence of drafts and sealing any drafts you come across. Fortunately, when it comes to sealing drafts, your options are anything but limited. From insulated curtains to caulk to weather stripping to foam tape, the vast majority of drafts can be dealt with in a timely, budget-conscious and stress-free manner. However, if you notice an abundance of drafts in a specific door or window, it’s probably a good idea to have it replaced.
You can even take things a step further on this front and upgrade to energy-efficient doors and windows, which are made up of thick thermal materials and designed to minimize escaped air. While these will cost you a bit more than standard doors and windows, the long-term savings they’ll facilitate are well worth the short-term expense. As an added bonus, energy-efficient doors and windows can prove helpful to indoor climate control all year long. For example, during the sweltering summer months, they can help prevent cool air from your A/C from exiting and warm air from outside from entering the house.
Heating a home throughout the wintertime is far from an inexpensive undertaking. However, when your only choice seems to be paying exorbitant utility costs or freezing your tail off in your own home, it’s liable to feel like you’re trapped in an untenable situation. Still, this doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to depleting your financial resources every winter. Taking the measures discussed above can help lower your wintertime heating costs while ensuring that your residence remains nice and toasty all season long.