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Cheapest Way to Heat a Home: 20 Ideas for Inexpensive Heat

Cheapest Way to Heat a Home

Keeping your home warm during the colder months is essential; you don’t have to break the bank to make your home cosy. This article suggests the cheapest way to heat a home by adopting some of our 20 heating options. Our suggestions/recommendations have been grouped into 3 core areas namely:

  • -adopting energy-efficient routines,
  • -using the best heating systems for your home, and
  • -renewable energy sources.

Continue reading to find out.

Energy Efficient Routines.

The following energy-efficient habits, if followed, can help you reduce your home’s energy consumption and lower your heating bills.

i. Use Thermal Curtains and Cellular Shades: Thick drapes that are made of fabrics, thermally insulated like polyester or cotton, can help trap heat in your house. Look for curtains that are marked as “insulated,” “energy-saving,” or have a thermal lining.

Alternatively, you can make use of cellular shades, sometimes referred to as honeycomb shades. These are usually made of fabric that is shaped into a series of cells that trap air and provide insulation. In addition, always keep the windows, curtains, and blinds closed to reduce the amount of heat lost.

ii. Reduce the temperature at night: To conserve money and energy, turn the thermostat down to 62°F at night and 68°F during the day.

iii. Regular Maintenance: Clean filters and ensure regular inspections of your heating and cooling systems to keep them working efficiently.

Use Blankets

iv. Proper Insulation: Ensure your home is well-insulated, particularly the attic and walls, to maintain a consistent indoor temperature with less energy. Also, make sure to seal any leaks around windows, doors, and ductwork to prevent heat loss or cold air from coming in.

v. Dress Warmly and Use Blankets: Dress warmly and use blankets to save energy and maintain comfort during the colder months. Wear hats, scarves, gloves, and thermal socks to keep your extremities warm. Opt for cozy indoor wear like fleece pyjamas, wool sweaters, and thick socks. Also use heavier blankets, comforters, or duvets on your bed to retain warmth during the night without needing to turn up the heater.

In addition, consider using electric blankets like Serta Luxe Plush Electric Blanket, Sunbeam Fleece Heated Blanket, etc., or heated mattress pads such as Biddeford Heated Mattress Pad, Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad, etc. that can provide direct warmth to your bed or seating area, allowing you to keep the thermostat set lower, saving energy.

Cost Effective Heating Strategies:

Keeping your home warm during the colder months does not have to mean skyrocketing heating bills. Below are some of the ways to implement cost-effective heating strategies:

i. Utilizing Programmable Thermostats:

A programmable thermostat allows you to set a heating schedule for your home based on when you’re awake, asleep, or away. By adjusting the temperature when not in use, you can reduce the amount of energy used for heating, thereby saving you money on heating without sacrificing comfort.

Nest Thermostat, Honeywell RTH9580WF, and Ecobee smart thermostats are popular models that allow you to control the thermostat remotely using your smartphone or voice, giving you more flexibility and control over your home’s heating.

ii. Zoning Heating Systems

This allows for customized heating in each zone, improving comfort and energy efficiency. For example, in a two-story house, the living areas on the first floor can be one zone and the bedrooms on the second floor another.

 Each zone can be heated independently based on occupancy and individual preferences, reducing the need to heat unoccupied areas. This can greatly reduce power usage and costs by ensuring that you are only heating the areas of your home that are in use.

iii. The Use of Space Heaters

Because central heating can be very expensive, space heaters, which are relatively easy to install and use, have become a popular option for providing an efficient and flexible heating solution for home owners at a lower cost. They usually come in various types, including electric, gas, and infrared models, each offering different heating methods and efficiency levels.

By using a space heater to warm only the occupied areas, you can reduce the need to heat the entire home, thereby lowering overall energy consumption and costs.

Renewable Energy Sources

Electricity prices are quite expensive across the globe. The following are some of the several renewable energy options that can be used to heat your home while reducing your energy costs:

 i. Solar Heating

Solar Heating

Consider installing solar power systems to provide electricity for your heating systems. While the initial cost can be high, solar panels can offer significant long-term savings and reduce dependence on traditional energy sources.

Alternatively, you could choose to use solar water heaters to warm the water in your house. They can also be used as a household hot water source. Compared to solar panels, these systems usually have a cheaper initial cost and provide considerable long-term savings.

 ii. Biomass Heating Systems

Installing biomass heating systems is another way to heat your home at a lower cost. These systems burn agricultural waste, such as corn stalks and straw, together with organic resources like wood pellets and chips in a boiler to provide heat for your home.

These systems work by burning the biomass fuel in a specially designed boiler or stove, generating heat that can be used for both space and water heating. They reduce carbon footprint by balancing CO2 released during combustion with CO2 absorbed during growth. Despite initial installation costs, these systems can lead to long-term energy savings and reduced reliance on fossil fuels.

 iii. Geothermal Energy:

This kind of energy source takes advantage of the temperature below the earth’s surface, which is constant at around 50–60 °F (10–16 °C) at depths as shallow as 100 feet. It uses heat pumps to efficiently heat and cool buildings by circulating fluid through underground pipes.

Heating Systems

These are devices or a group of devices that provide heat to a building or a specific area, keeping it comfortable and warm during cold weather. The most common types of heating systems are as follows:

Radiant Floor Heating: Often referred to as underfloor heating or hydronic heating, is a kind of heating system that heats a floor from underneath using hot water or electricity. The air in the space is warmed by the heat rising from the floor, creating a cozy, constant temperature.

It is commonly installed in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, especially in homes with concrete slabs or high ceilings where forced-air heating systems struggle to maintain consistent temperatures.

Solar Heating: This type of heating system makes use of sunlight to heat a home or building. It has two main types: solar thermal systems, which use solar collectors to capture the sun’s energy and transfer it to a heat exchanger, and solar photovoltaic systems, which convert sunlight into electricity and power the home’s heating system.

Boiler: A boiler is a heating system that generates heat by burning fuel (natural gas, oil, wood pellets, or electricity) and circulating hot water or steam through pipes to heat radiators, baseboard heaters, or radiant floor systems in different parts of a home. The water or steam is heated to a high temperature and sent to heat exchangers in each room, transferring the heat into the air and warming the room.

Furnace: A furnace is another kind of heating system that heats air and distributes it to various rooms in the house via a system of ducts and registers. The most common type of furnace is the forced-air furnace. The most popular type of furnace is the forced-air furnace, which is powered by natural gas, oil, or electricity to heat air and distributed by a fan through the ductwork.

Geothermal heating: This kind of heating system uses the earth’s natural heat below the earth’s surface to warm or cool buildings. There are three main components to the system:

§ Ground Loop: A ground loop uses steady temperatures below the surface of the earth to produce heat. Through underground pipes, a fluid, typically water or a mixture of water and antifreeze, circulates and absorbs heat from the earth and transfers the same to a refrigerant using a heat pump.

§ Heat Pump: Like a refrigerator, the heat pump reverses the flow of heat to transfer heat between the heat exchanger and the building.

§ Distribution System: The distribution system uses ductwork, radiators, or baseboard heaters to distribute the heated or cooled air throughout the building.

Conclusion

By improving energy efficiency, choosing the right heating system, and adopting cost-saving strategies, you can significantly reduce your heating costs. What are you waiting for? Implement these tips to enjoy a warm, comfortable home without high energy bills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there any government programs or rebates to help with heating costs?

Yes, many governments offer programs and rebates to help with heating costs for low-income households, such as:

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or simply Energy Assistance Programs (EAP).
  • Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
  • Rebates for energy-efficient upgrades
  • Tax credits
  • Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA)
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)z

These programs provide incentives for installing energy-efficient windows, insulation, or heating systems, as well as renewable energy installations like solar panels or geothermal systems, etc., for low-income families and any qualified applicant from any level of income.

What role does insulation play in reducing heating costs?

Insulation helps to reduce heating costs by preventing heat loss. Proper insulation in windows, walls, and attics traps warm air inside the house during the winter, thereby reducing the need for continuous heating.

Between gas and electric heating, which is cheaper?

It depends on the costs of gas and electricity in your locality, but generally, gas heating is cheaper.

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