About 5 months ago we moved into a new house. Since we got married, we've always lived in rented places and this is the first house we own ourselves. Rental houses are usually not of the most luxury kind, and no home we ever lived in had heating. Winter in our area is pretty mild most of the time, but temperatures do sometimes tend to drop to a level where indoor heating is desirable. The new house thankfully has a central heating system, so we should be able to keep the house nice and toasty when it gets rough outside. But we also don't want to spend too much money heating up the place. Here are some things I came up with to keep heating costs down:
Our new house is on the top floor of a building which stands on a hill top, so it gets pretty windy there. We bought the house on paper, so we were able to make some adjustments from the get-go. One of the things we did, was put in double glass windows. Good insulation is half the work of keeping the heat inside.
Also, make sure that there are no cracks by windows and doors from which the heat can escape and cold air can come in. On a windy day, run your hand around all the doors and windows to locate any leaks. You can easily seal them with silicon.
2. Don't turn the heater on all the time
The heater shouldn't be on while you're out of the house. We don't live in a country where it gets icy cold, so we can turn off the heater completely while we're out. Or alternately, while we're asleep. It's not healthy to sleep in a room that is too hot anyway.
Some people live in very cold climates and turning off the heater completely would mean that it would take ages for the house to heat up again. So in that case, just turn it lower at night and when you're out.
3. Don't overheat
You don't need to walk around the house in a t-shirt. That way, you don't have to compensate with your heater and turn up the temperature. Dress season appropriate, and even put on something extra when you're cold. Personally I only need to turn on the heater when I can see my own breath inside the house. And then I only turn it on so that I'm comfortable with my sweater and warm socks on.
4. Use the cheapest system
There are many systems out there for indoor heating. The main difference between them is what they run on. And that greatly affects the costs. Our heating system runs on gas, which is relatively cheap. Other systems may run on oil or diesel.
Air conditioning units can sometimes be put on the heating setting. When it's not very cold out, this may be a good solution. You may also be able to turn it off again after a while once the house is warm. This saves money too.
Shop around for the different options, and ask other people how they heat up their houses and how much they spend on it.
5. Indoor insulation
Put rugs on the floor, or even wall to wall carpeting. Wooden or laminated wooden floors also keep the heat in better than tiles.
6. Only heat up the room you're in
You can also choose to use space heaters to heat up the room you're currently in. This only works in small spaces such as a study room or bedroom. This way you don't have to heat up the whole house while you're only using 1 room. In this case, also make sure the room is ventilated well.
What to you use to heat your house? Do you have any other tips to share?