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How to Reduce Your Home's Heating Costs
The cost of oil and natural gas just keeps rising. However, UK homeowners have time to make preparations to combat the anticipated energy increases.
If we divide the list of energy decreasing options into the categories; no cost, low cost and moderate cost, we can pick and choose what we need to do and what we can budget for reducing the price of out heating expense in 2014-2015. You may not feel like addressing what could be a dramatic disturbance to the household budget during the hot Summer months, but this is the time to go for it.
No Cost Energy Reducers
By addressing some of the no cost, no brainers, you might be surprised how much you can trim from you previous year's energy budget, even if prices continue to climb.
Follow these free steps to trim your energy expenses:
- Turn the thermostat down - In order to turn the thermostat down, you have to make sure it works. Assuming it does, turning the thermostat 10 degrees lower for 16 hours a day could save 10 percent from you previous year's energy bill.
- Close the fireplace hamper - We love a good fire in Winter but closing the hamper when not in use is another way to increase home safety and trim the heating bill.
- Clear the heating vents - If you have rugs or wall hangings or furniture blocking the flow from your vents, you are wasting energy. Clear the vent path.
- Use household fans - Kitchen and bathroom fans carelessly left running can expel large amounts of warm air. When the fan has done its job, turn it off.
- Have a curtain strategy - Opening the curtains when the sun can add natural heat is a great way to cut your energy bill. Just remember to close the curtains when the sun is in the wrong position.
Low Cost Energy Savers
- Check and block leaks - Checks walls, windows and doors for leaks and where you identify a leak, block it. UK homes are famous for letting cold into the property. Here is an easy way to save 10 percent.
- Purchase Door Sweeps - Close air leaks under exterior doors by purchasing low cost door sweeps.
- Clean Ducts - One of the greatest causes of wasted and lost energy is dirty heating ducts. Have the ducts serviced annually and thoroughly cleaned. For a reasonable outlay, you will see big dividends in lower heating bills. While you are at it, check the insulation around the ducts. If needed, repair or install new insulation and make sure the fit is snug.
- Check Attic, Basement and Crawlspaces - Look closely for leaks or holes in these areas. You should also check that your ducts in these areas are still connected. If the connection is broken, repair. With aerosol and duct tape, it is amazing what you can do to save money.
- Winter-proof windows - If your windows are dated, not glazed and hopelessly wasteful, this is the time to replace them. Sales are on and contractor want work. If you have reasonably new windows but have noticed some cold air seeping through, address the problem now. Check your storms and the fit. You can always apply a plastic film over the window to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Be aggressive!
- Check the hot water heater's efficiency - Have the hot water heater checked and if necessary replace. Make sure the pipes are insulated properly. If there are periods that the hot water is not in use, turn the setting down.
- Check the boiler - One of the biggest losses of energy is caused by dated and poorly maintained and serviced boilers. If you have followed all the steps above, you will save money on the next year's energy bill. But, if you have your boiler fully serviced and if necessary replaced, the chances are that you could cut 30-50 percent off you energy expense every year for the next ten years or longer. This is the easiest way to save money and live comfortably. When was the last time your boiler was checked top to bottom?
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