As winter approaches, many people, particularly the elderly and those living in poverty, fret about heating bills. In addition, increased fuel use is a waste of natural resources and damaging to the environment. It is a challenge to adequately heat the home, while still reducing expenditure and conserving energy. By taking some relatively simple measures, however, it is possible strike an optimal balance between comfort and a thrifty approach to heating.
How to Conserve Heat Energy
Look critically around your house, observing any obvious areas where heat may be escaping. Consider having this done professionally, which may cost you money in the short term, but save on bills in the long run. Try reducing the thermostat by just a degree, and assess whether this makes a difference in how your home feels. It will save your fuel and your money.
Make a list of all the ways your house loses heat. Many people only think about the heat coming into the house, and forget about the heat which escapes. Insulation can save 20 to 30 percent on your heating bills. Consider only using one main door to your home, and closing the other over the winter. This makes it easier to keep an eye on people leaving the door open -- this is one of the fastest ways to lose heat from a room. Consider installing a wood-burning stove, which adds coziness as well as warmth to your home.
Buy or make a "sausage" draft excluder to put between the floor and the bottom of the door. This is a cylindrical stuffed piece of fabric, which is easy to make and can reduce drafts significantly. Consider using a hot water bottle or electric blanket. Many people find a warm bed and a cool bedroom more comfortable to sleep in. Wear layers of clothing. There is no need to have your house so hot that you dress like it is summer all the year through.
Tips & Warnings
- Always maintain appropriate heating levels if an elderly, frail person; a disabled person or infant is in the house. People who cannot move about can become very cold.
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