Did you know that you can create an instant "window glazing" effect with used bubble or cling wrap? That's a pretty clever way of trapping heated air inside your home when you need it the most. This, in turn, is an ingenious, no-cost way that can help trim your heating bills.
Speaking of clever, did you know that furnace parts have also become pretty smart? That's right: for instance, you can now get an intelligent thermostat for your home. They don't "talk" like Siri, but they're pretty cool, and they can even "tell" you if your home is too humid.
Either way, these are just two creative hacks that can help you save on heating costs. We'll discuss them (and eight others) in more detail below, so be sure to read on.
1. Lay Out the Bubble Wrap
Do the environment some good by repurposing bubble wrap and using them to cover old windows. You can also reuse "single-use" plastic or cling wraps as an alternative (just make sure you wipe them clean). According to the University of Massachusetts, this can cut heat loss by as much as 50%.
2. Key It in and Lock It Up
If you set your thermostat by a few notches lower than 68°F, you can save at least 10% each year on your heating costs. You'd want to do this every time no one is at home, as you don't really need to heat an empty house.
The thing is, it can get pretty tedious if you always have to do this routine every single day. There's also the chance that you may forget doing it before heading out.
So, why not invest in a smart thermostat, which you can easily pre-set to do all this work for you? After keying in your desired pre-sets, it'll automatically perform the temp adjustments.
Also, as mentioned above, some intelligent thermostats come with a humidity display. With this, you'll know if your home is too damp, which can make it prone to molds.
Plus, some smart thermostats come with a keypad lockout feature. With this, you can lock the thermostat setting remotely. This way, no one can mess with its controls, especially if you're away from home.
3. Green up the Inside of Your Home
A study found that the air in plant-filled rooms has fewer molds. Compared to rooms without flora, those with a lot of greens had 60% fewer molds. In another study, 82% of those who worked in rooms with plants and windows reported feeling "very happy."
That should be enough reason to consider getting indoor plants for your space. More than that, the use of plants is one way on how to save on heating bills. Through the process of transpiration, plants can make a cool (but humid) room feel warmer.
In this case, you can set your heater's thermostat slightly lower during the winter season. Your plants can fill in the moisture gap when they let out water through transpiration.
4. Put the Brakes on Chilly Winds With Windbreaks
If you have a bigger budget, consider windbreaks for long-term energy savings. Strategically-placed and well-designed windbreaks can lower heating costs by 10% to 25%.
Such types of landscaping offer wind protection. They can also help control snow that blows and drifts onto your property.
Sturdy evergreens, such as Douglas fir, spruce, and yew, are excellent choices.
What's more, since windbreaks are plants, you also get to enjoy the benefits of having a green space. Experts say that being in the presence of nature brings about relaxing effects in people. So, not only can they put the brakes on rising heating bills, but they may also help keep your blood pressure down.
5. Build or Install a Floating Shelf
A floating shelf is just as cool-looking as it is cool-sounding. These are shelves that appear to float since they don't come with visible supports. You can opt to DIY the floating shelves, although you'd need a few tools and materials.
In any case, placing these shelves on top of your radiator can help you save money on heating. They can do so by acting as a partial cover for the hot air, so it won't rise as fast and dissipate as quickly. Just make sure you don't place anything on the shelf that's prone to heat damage.
6. Plug Up those Drafts
Sealing your home's air leaks can cut your utility costs by as much as 40%. You can start by plugging up those drafts that enter through the gaps around your windows and doors. You don't even have to spend money to do this; you can use all those foam insulations from your shipped packages.
If you're into DIY, you can craft a draft dodger by cutting out a foam the size of the gap. You can also piece and glue smaller foams together and then wrap them with a thick fabric. Slide these under doors or position them by the window sills.
7. Skip the Food Delivery
Such meals aren't only pricier than home-cooked meals; they also rob you of the chance to move about. The thing is, moving about generates internal body heat, and when you use your oven, it also adds to indoor warmth. If you bake, you can also leave the oven door open so that its heat spreads to your kitchen.
Since you feel warmer, you can adjust your thermostat a few notches. If you do this a lot, then all those adjustments can help you cut your heating bills.
8. Go Heavyweight With Your Curtains
Swap out your light curtains with thicker weaves like denim, suede, tapestry, or tweed. Velvet is also an excellent option to create a dense barrier against wintry outdoor air. You can also hang a few layers of curtains to block chilly drafts and keep the heat from escaping.
9. Warm Up the Bed
You can invest in high-quality winter bedding made of down, wool, or fleece. Or, you can go DIY and make a sort of quilt using old and no-longer-used flannel shirts. It'll take time, but it's a great way to repurpose stuff while also providing a solution to warm up your bed.
To increase the warmth of your bed, you might also want to prepare a hot water bottle. Place this at the foot of your bed, under the sheets, as you prepare to get some ZZZ's. It'll help keep you toasty in your sleep for a few hours.
10. Replace Furnace Parts and Get Your Heating System Serviced
One of the best ways to keep your heating bills down is to increase furnace efficiency. The more efficient your heating system is, the faster it can warm up your home. A properly-maintained home heater also performs better without using extra energy.
At the very least, be sure that you get new filters for your heater to keep the warm air flowing freely. The fewer obstructions there are in your heating system, the warmer and toastier your home can be.
Don't Let Your Heating Bill Make Your Blood Pressure Rise
As you can see, there are plenty of creative ways to keep your heating costs down. Start by using bubble or cling wrap on old windows, getting more plants, or building a floating shelf. Then, consider getting smart furnace parts, such as a remote-operated thermostat.