Cutting your heating bills and the amount of energy you use around your house can be done through a few changes. There are things that you can do to monitor the amount of energy your household consumes as well as incorporate some behavioral changes, i.e. changes to the way you live and use certain things around your home.
What are some preventive actions you can take and changes you can introduce into your household?
When it comes to heating, we usually don’t think about it too much as we just want our house to be nice, warm and comfortable. We turn our heating on and don’t think about the amount of energy we are using, or how that energy usage impacts our environment, or our monthly utility bills. We can all be a little stunned when the first utility bills of the heating season arrive, and when we realize how much more money we need to set aside.
But have you ever stopped to think whether that is inevitable? Is there any way I could reduce my heating bill, even just a little? Is there any way I could decrease my energy usage, and make my house more energy-efficient? Well, the answer is yes, of course you can. And it doesn’t imply any big projects or changes around your house.
Monitor your energy
The first thing you could do is start monitoring your energy consumption. And how can you do that? It is simple. There are energy monitoring devices that you can buy and set up in your house. They are small and won’t get in your way, and they are affordable. With them, you can monitor all the aspects of your house that consume energy, determine what uses the most, and how much money does it add up too. Once you’ve determined all of that, you will know what to pay attention to, so go from there.
You can do that with the use of smart meters and energy monitors or in-home electricity displays. Smart meters and energy monitors complement each other in a way, and it's best to have both devices. Smart meters measure your energy and gas usage and send the complete and accurate information about it to your energy supplier remotely, so you don’t have to do the readings yourself.
When it comes to energy monitors, they are mostly used for your in-home purposes, so you can track in real time or near-real time which appliances are on, what is using the most energy and how much money does it cost. They are portable, and you can move them around your house.
Pay more attention to your thermostat. It doesn’t have to be on all the time, nor set on the maximum function. There are set-back and programmable thermostats which are highly recommended. They adjust the optimal room temperature and use the minimal amount of needed energy. They can be set to turn off or lower the temperature when you’re not at home and to turn on just before you arrive. But this can all be done manually as well, so don’t worry if you don’t have a smart, programmable one.
If there are areas or rooms in your house that you don’t use very often or at all, probably there's no need to heat them as well. Keep the doors closed and heat only those rooms you spend most of your time in. Or, simply adjust your heating or the thermostat so that less heat is delivered to those areas if you don’t want them to get completely cold.
When it comes to heating the water, it also leaves a significant trace on your energy and heating bills. Think about lowering your water heater thermostat – it will save you both energy and money, according to the US Department of Energy. If you have a resistive-electric hot water tank, try to heat your water off-peak, i.e. when the rate is cheaper (usually at night). And, in the end, use the cold water whenever you can. For example, a large part of your laundry doesn’t need to be washed in hot water so set your washing machine to cold water washing.
Guest post by Matt J.
About the Author
Matt J. is a writer for local contractor specialized in smart technology, home improvement, and construction.
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