Infrared image of a home showing major heat leaks in presumably under-insulated walls.

Cut Your Heating Costs with These Quick Tips! – Part II

Spring may have sprung, but experienced Alaskans know that we still have at least one more heavy snow to come before winter finally kicks the bucket. Last month, we discussed ways to cut heating costs by adjusting your windows and doors and modifying your heating system. Today, we’re going to cover even more heating bill hacks! Discover how you can make changes to unfinished spaces in your home, your water heater, and more–all to save money on heating. We hope you find something that works for you!

Unfinished Spaces and Places

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate to Cut Heating Costs

Although insulation is a very important part of homebuilding in Alaska, sometimes contractors fail to insulate properly, requiring inspection.

For starters, check for holes in your exterior walls. What you may not realize is that plumbing and electric can create holes that allow cold air in around the seams. Make sure these areas are insulated by caulk or foam sealant.

Your electric box, in particular, may be causing issues. Remove the cover plate and ensure the box has been appropriately insulated on the inside.

Second, make a visit to your attic and make sure that both this space and the door leading to it are insulated as they should be.

Finally, take a look inside your cabinets and closets. Unfortunately, some contractors leave holes in the back of cabinets and closets assuming they will go unnoticed. These holes let cold air in and should be covered up just as soon as they are discovered.

Water Heater Hacks to Cut Heating Costs

  • Adjust the temperature. Your water heater may be driving up heating costs by being set on an unreasonably high temperature. If you can function on a lower temperature like 120°, change the settings to reflect it.
  • Grab a blanket. No, not for you–for the heater! They make insulative blankets for water heaters, no joke. Water heater blankets improve the efficiency of the system and can save you money on heating. Visit your local hardware store to find one.
  • Purchase something new. It may be the case that your water heater is simply old and operating inefficiently for that reason. If you think this may be the issue, purchase a newer model to replace the old.

More Ways to Save Money on Heating

  • Do your chores. Common household chores like taking a shower and cooking not only warm you up, they naturally warm up your house too! Just remember to avoid using your kitchen and bathroom ventilators when you do, as these remove warm air from your house.
  • Dress for winter. We all like to be comfortable in our homes, but putting on a few extra layers will make you more open to turning the heat down and saving money.
  • Buy a space heater. If you spend more time in one part of your house than all of the others, it would be valuable for you to invest in a heater for just those spaces, turning down the overall heating for the house.
  • Buy a humidifier. While you’re at the store, pick up a humidifier. Humidity holds heat in the air, keeping it around longer before it escapes the house.
  • Check your chimney. Chimneys let a great deal of warm air out of a house if they are not insulated. Use a damper or a chimney balloon to insulate.
  • Run your fans. Ceiling fans can keep heat circulating throughout the house rather than resting at the ceiling where it rises.

Are you ready for the final snowfall of the year? Try a few of these tips and see if they don’t save you money on your heating bill. If you think your heating system may be to blame, we would be happy to inspect it for you. It’s never to late to finish this season warm and well-off, or, prepare for next winter! Give us a call!