Keep as many rooms as you can as cold as possible (the true key to saving money is minimizing the heat loss from as many walls, floors, windows and ceilings as possible.) The colder a particular room is, the smaller the amount of heat that is transferred to the outdoors.
Heat loss calculations are amazing. Heat lost to the outdoors has to be replaced with a furnace (natural gas or propane), heating oil, wood, pellets, electric heaters or other method. It is amazing how changes in the calculation such as a 1 degree F temperature change inside or outside, # of outside walls, ceilings and windows, etc. So the solution is to reduce the air temperature in your house. That is tough, but it is the only answer that is highly effective. The biggest way to save money on heating costs is to make as many rooms in the house as cold as possible without the pipes freezing (typically the basement is the only danger area, and you can also use heat tape which can be as low as 3 watts per foot, which warms 50 feet of pipe with 150 watts and can be insulated.) Wear your winter coat inside the house? If it really bothers you then maybe keep it nearby for those rarely entered rooms but definitely wear a sweater all the time.
People are desperately trying to lower their heating bill by installing electric heaters in the rooms they tend to use the most. It’s called zoning, and it works very well. These smart customers see their furnace or oil burner as the enemy and they are doing everything they can to keep it from firing up. Extra insulation, under door sweeps, closing doors, window film etc. are all helpful as well. Many of our customers have electric heat (wall heaters, baseboard heaters, ceiling heaters, etc.) installed in every room with a thermostat in every room. They micro manage the temperature of each room faithfully by making adjustments to each thermostat and with programming of the set-back thermostats. It takes some work but customers are reporting that they are cutting their heating bill in half or a third and that can close to $2,000 per year in savings for a heating oil or propane customer. The voltage you choose (120 or 240 Volts typically) does not matter. A watt is a watt the world around at any voltage as far as how you’re charged for electricity. (All utility companies charge by how many kilowatt-hours you use.)
- Turn down your thermostat, especially at night and unoccupied hours – every degree you can decrease your temperature setting will save you 2% to 4% in your heating bill
- Open your drapes during the biggest sunlight hours and close them at night
- Caulk around window, doors, and wherever air may leak in or out of the house
- Insulation in the attic (Many people are installing 24″ of blown in fiberglass with great results)
- Use Programmable Thermostats which automatically set back the temperature at night.
- Be careful when bringing in the groceries, etc. A huge amount of heat is lost when you open a door in the winter
Check out some electric comfort heaters here: