Climate change is a thing. Some places are heating up. That still does not change the fact that temperatures in the 20s and 10s are common in Pennsylvania. And this is a temperate state. I am sure people further up North have even lower temperatures. These low temperatures raise heating bills and it is common to ask how to save on heating.
I have experienced instances where people living in Philadelphia have heating bills of a few hundred each month during winter. Sometimes the bills were just shy of a thousand dollars every month in winter. While that may only be the case for four or five months, most people have issues budgeting as is and are frequently not ready for such a large spike in expenses. In this post I will explain how I save money on heating. I will not give any tips such as “lower your thermostat or wear a sweater.” If you are at all serious about saving on heating, you have already done those things.
Rent Places Which Provide Free Heat
This may sound like a simple tip. If you do not have to pay for heating, you save on heating. It is not that simple, there is no such thing as a free meal. If heating is free, it just means that it is already included in the rent.
So what is the point then? Heat is more frequently not provided by the owner of your home. If heat is not provided by the owners, then heat remains as a hidden cost that is not considered in the rent advertised. The tenant will have a spike in utilities that only the tenant will pay for and not the owner. If the owner does not pay for it, they will not be inclined to make their real estate green. If the tenants pay for heat, why would the owners want to make sure insulation is installed? Tenants cannot add insulation to the property without permission from the owners themselves.
If heat is provided by the owners, the cost will be reflected by rent. The owners will not directly pay for it, but the higher rent may be a deterrent for potential tenants. If heat becomes a deterrent for potential tenants, then the owners will at least feel like they have a stake in whether the real estate is efficient or not.
There is no guarantee the owners will improve anything. But if heating any real estate is expensive, like I don’t know, hundreds if not thousands per month for a few thousand cubic feet, then rent will be high. Tenants will be less likely to rent apartments where the rent reflects inefficient heating. If tenants do not rent, real estate owners will make less money. They will try to minimize the costs including making their real estate more efficient to make more money.
Improve, Or Even Add Insulation
If you own your real estate, or at least borrowed money from the bank to keep your shirts in your real estate, you most likely have full control of the insulation in the real estate. The basic idea of insulation is to prevent the exchange of air so you can better maintain the heat or cool in your house. You would be surprised at how easy installing insulation is. When my family moved, we added insulation inside the walls. As hard as that sounds, all we had to do was cut a hole in the wall, use a shop vac to blow insulating foam into the cavity walls, and then reseal it. The most crucial place to put insulation is in the roof and attic, and those require only roll up insulation.
There are other basic ways to provide insulation if you are renting and cannot add insulation to the walls like my family did. However, you can use several techniques to improve insulation. For instance, 10% of heat escapes through windows. While glass does allow heat exchange, the most crucial reason windows allow air exchange are openings. Caulking is one of the most basic ways to seal any openings. Usually landlords do not mind if you use caulking, but ask them to be sure.
Never underestimate the power of curtains. Curtains can be used to prevent not only air exchange through openings, but the heat exchange through the glass. The missus and I have installed curtains in every window of our apartment and we could feel the difference. All you need is a curtain rod to install such curtains. If they are properly installed, they will do no damage to the apartment at all.
Change How You Cook
I strongly believe in seasonal cooking. It broadens your horizons. More importantly, it makes you more comfortable. How many of you know people who really grill during January? Do you think Christmas cookies would be a thing if Christmas was in June? Ah, who am I kidding, they would. The point is people change their cooking habits for the season to make themselves more comfortable.
When it is cold out, that is the time to bake more. When you are baking, you are heating a large volume of air to hundreds of degrees. It does not matter how often or how quickly you check, inevitably, all heat from the oven will escape into your home. Why not enjoy that heat? Avoid using the microwave. Microwaves produce very little air heat because microwaves only heat the food. If you haven’t changed how you cook for the season, now may be the time.
Use Ceiling Fans
You did not misread, using ceiling fans during winter keeps your home warm. Where does hot air go? Up. What do ceiling fans do? Circulate air. By circulating air, hot air does not rise as much and less of it escapes. I never see anyone have their ceiling fans on during winter, only summer so this may be an uncommonly known fact. In fact, I learned about this in college physics when I was being taught about heat exchange. I also learned you could power a city with the energy from the air in a class room. Don’t let it be said that you can only learn useless knowledge in college. If you listen, you will learn much.
I hate how people say that all you need to do is make sacrifices to save on your utilities bill. If you really want to save on heating, those sacrifices were probably the first thing you made. It is like trying to build wealth. Making sacrifices to save money is crucial. But the main problem is that your wealth is not being used efficiently. When you want to heat a home, the issue is not that you cannot take a little cold, but that the heat you have is not being used efficiently.
You need to spend a little money and put in a little effort to make sure you heat your home efficiently. Heating your home efficiently is a good step to forge your wealth.