5 Tips to Cut your Heating Bill in Half
Recently I had moved my bedroom into the basement, and soon realized how cold basements really are. I was then faced with the problem of heating up the room with out paying a fortune in heating bills.
The windows in the basement were the biggest problem so I used old couch cushions. I unzipped and removed the couch cushion cover. Then wrapped the foam in plastic (the kind you use for vapor barriers when insulating) put the cover of the couch cushion back on and placed it in the window sill, against the window, fortunately I had a cushion that was an exact fit for the window sill dimensions. But you can be creative. When the coldest days of winter came, I felt the cushion on both sides inside was warm and the side facing the window was really cold. a significant difference to the room temperature
This stopped allot of heat loss out of the basement in turn heating the upstairs better(hot air rises). and I saved a bunch on my heating bill. I recommend this tip for anyone living in northern climates, where winters are cold.
Sealing your Windows
This is a good trick for checking for cracks and leaks around your window. If you smoke or know someone who does, just light up a cigarette and hold it close to the window sill, move it all around the sill and you will see the drafts disturb the cigarette smoke. I guess this trick would work the same with incense if you can't stand cigarette smoke..
Insulating your Basement
If you live in an old house chances are the insulation has deteriorated to a small pile in the bottom of the wall. Offering absolutely no insulating properties. This insulation should be replaced so that you don't face extensive heating bills in the winter time. If you are handy with tools and do it yourself, be sure to get a high r-value insulation when you at the hardware store. This may seem to be a bit of an investment, but its far cheaper in the long run.
Weather Stripping your Outside Doors
Check your door to see if it has weather stripping, if not, you should go to your local hardware store and pick up some. If your door does have it, make sure its not cracked and that it is installed properly. This will stop alot of heat loss through your outside doors and stop cold drafts from coming in.
Switching to an Electronic Thermostat
If you are using one of those old dial or slider thermostats, then you may want to consider upgrading to an electronic programmable thermostat. Buy using one of these you can get an accurate digital read out of the temperature plus you can program it to turn the heat down when you are at work or when you are sleeping. These devices cost about $30-40 and will pay themselves off within about two months of using them.
Electronic thermostats are easy to install you have to connect about 4-5 wires and one screw to mount the device. Simple as pie.
By using all of these tips this winter, you will save yourself significant amounts on your power bill probably in the range of about 50% of what you are paying now. So get to it, and make some changes, use less power and save our environment.