It doesn’t matter where in the country you’re located this winter — the 2014-2015 winter season has shaped up to be one of the coldest winters that anyone can remember. With some cities getting buried in snow — literally, buried — and others getting snow for the first time in years, it’s clear that the winter weather has been rough on everyone this year.
And it’s probably also been rough on your home heating system and your energy bills, too. The higher you turn up that thermostat to battle the frigid temperatures, the more stress it puts on your entire home heating system and the more gas your system ends up using.
When it comes to making sure that you have the most efficient home heating system possible, the best thing to do is to call up your local HVAC repair services and have them do a maintenance check to make sure that everything is running smoothly; but if you’ve already done this and you’re still struggling with high energy bills, there are a few tricks that might help you out for the rest of the winter:
- Get some thick, insulated curtains. Sounds so simple that it’s almost comical, right? But buying new curtains that are extra-thick (even if they aren’t marketed as special insulated curtains) can really help keep out all those tiny little drafts of cold air that sneak in through the cracks of your windows.
- Install a programmable thermostat. You don’t have to splurge on a brand-new high-tech “smart” thermostat that (somewhat creepily) knows when you’re at home and when you’re gone — although these thermostats are definitely useful for many households. A simple programmable thermostat is very affordable, and you can pre-set your home heating system to run at a lower temperature at certain times when you aren’t around, so that you aren’t paying to heat your house when no one’s in it.
- And finally, if you live in a big house where some rooms heat up a lot faster than others, you’ll probably benefit from using small indoor space heaters in the rooms that you often use. Remember that outdoor space heaters should never be used indoors, and it’s important to turn off your heater whenever you aren’t around. Although this can get pricey if you find yourself buying a bunch of small space heaters, having a couple around are good options for home heating systems that are working as efficiently as possible in really old houses.