There’s an old saying that it is the little leaks that drain your budget, not the rare big expenses. The same can be true for your energy bill. You might be thinking of installing a new heat recovery system to save on your heating and cooling bills. Or you’re trying to justify that new car you want as a way to save on gasoline. Let’s look instead at the little things you can do to save big on your energy bill. Best of all, you can make many of these changes without spending a lot of money.
Stop the Draught
One way to improve the energy efficiency of any home is to stop the draughts. Invest in door sweeps and other items that seal the gaps under doors that let warm air escape. Consider getting a keyhole cover to replace the old, worn one on the door. A different locking mechanism may not let as much outside air into the house. It may improve the security of the door, as well. You can put a cover on the mail slot, too. Replacing the door with one with an insulated core is an option, as well.
Don’t forget to take care of the windows while you’re at it. If you can’t afford to replace your windows, caulk the edges of the windows where the air is seeping in. Fix the frame so that the misalignments don’t let air escape. Add insulated curtains to your windows to trap the heat. If you want to let in light without losing heat, research window films that allow light through without allowing heat to be transferred out. The more advanced films will prevent bright glare from coming through the window while gentle indirect light passes through
If your home has a chimney, closing the flue when it doesn’t need to be open will minimize heat loss that way. This also minimizes the odds of an animal or debris falling in and getting into your home.
Improve the Distribution of Conditioned Air in Your Home
Before you buy a small heater to warm up that back room, look for ways to improve the distribution of heated air in the home. A fan by the radiator to distribute the heated air uses less energy than a second heater. You may need to clean your air ducts to improve airflow downstream. Or the air filters themselves need to be replaced so that the heating and air conditioning system doesn’t have to work so hard to move air through your home. Don’t open windows to get fresh air if you can achieve the same result by opening the air vent in the room. Or turn on the ceiling fans.
Reuse Heat Where Possible
Where possible, reuse heat. For example, don’t vent the hot air from the oven or stove unless that’s necessary to get rid of the burnt smell. Better yet, cook in the evening when the heat from the oven will have the greatest impact.
Consider opening the door after a hot shower to distribute that hot air through the rest of the house. Conversely, on hot days, consider cooking outside, and close the bathroom door before turning on the bathroom vent to remove the hot humid air without the sucking air-conditioned air out with it.