4 Home Heating Facts You Need To Know

As the winter months approach, most of us are turning our thoughts to the pursuit of warmth. Gone are the long, balmy summer days, and in their place a constant quest to try and keep the cold at bay.

 

The forefront of this endeavor is always going to be your home. Staying warm at home is imperative; in fact, failing to adequately warm your home is a genuine health risk. Given how important it is to keep your home heated throughout the winter months, it seems a pertinent time to reveal five facts about home heating– some of which could save you a small fortune on your heating bills this year.

 

 

Fact: Heating Costs Are Responsible For 41% of Your Household Energy Bills

This is a staggering statistic, but it’s true. Just keeping your home warm takes up nearly half of the amount that you spend on your household energy.

 

This is a good example of why you have to be careful about how much your energy is costing you this winter. Most of us try to make an effort to save energy; we ensure we’re not leaving devices plugged in when they’re not in use, we turn off lights when we’re not in the room. These things are important, but they’re small fry compared to the might of your heating costs.

 

Fact: For Every Degree You Turn Your Thermostat Down, You Save 3% On Your Bill

During winter, the thermostat in your home can become a source of argument. One resident insists that the thermostat needs to be turned down; another says it’s far too cold and wants to click the thermostat up a dial. We all have a temperature at which we feel most comfortable, and if that comfortable temperature varies for your household members, then disagreements are inevitable.

 

This fact, however, could bring an end to the thermostat wars. The lower your thermostat temperature, the lower your bills– that’s something we all know, but did you know how significant the difference can be? 3 percent per degree is a staggering amount to save, so even a small change — such as 68F to 66F — could lead to substantial savings.

 

You should also look at this issue from the other direction, if you need to convince a permanently-cold family member that the thermostat shouldn’t be turned up: for every degree you increase the thermostat, your bill becomes 3 percent more expensive.  The average US natural gas heating bill is $598, so for every degree your thermostat is clicked up, it’s costing you $17.94.

 

 

Face: Turning Your Thermostat Up Won’t Heat Your Home Any Faster

Given how many of us struggle with the desire to turn the thermostat up, it’s worth looking at why we want to spin the dial another couple of degrees.

 

The vast majority of people do this as they’re cold, and they want the house to heat up as quickly as possible. Surely, by turning the thermostat up a couple of degrees, the heating system is going to have to work harder– and thus produce heat in a much faster time?

 

Not so; adjusting your thermostat doesn’t make any difference to how quickly your home heats up. Turning the dial just means that you’re going to have to wait longer for the house to reach the new, even-hotter temperature, and that you will pay more when your bill arrives. While it’s important to have the right thermostat so you can keep a close eye on your energy usage and have control over the household temperature, it’s also important not to see the thermostat as a passport to immediate, fast heat.

 

How quickly your home heats is actually determined by how efficient your heating system is and what fuel you use. If you are concerned about how quickly your heating system is powering up, then it may need to be serviced by a professional engineer. Most heating systems should reach the desired temperature within a half hour; if this isn’t the case for your home, then definitely call a professional so they can determine the cause.

 

 

Fact: Space Heaters Are In The Top Ten Causes Of House Fires In The USA

Fire is one of the most feared disasters that any homeowner can experience, so this fact should be worrying if you rely on a space heater to keep warm during the winter months.

 

Space heaters are inherently dangerous. This is a small appliance that is built to distribute heat, meaning that the inner workings of the appliance have to get very hot indeed. If a space heater is old, malfunctioning, or is not being used properly — for example, wet clothes are draped over it to dry — then there is a very good chance that fire will result.

 

If you’re going to use space heaters this winter, you have to use them safely. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

 

  • Never, ever leave a space heater unattended. If you leave the room, turn the heater off– even if you’re only going to be out of the room for a few minutes. Fires can spread and develop quickly, and your two-minute trip upstairs to retrieve your book is enough time for catastrophe to strike.
  • Never fall asleep with a space heater on; they should be monitored at all times.
  • Be very careful with how you position your space heater. It should be at least 50cm away from the wall, and as far as possible from any flammable materials such as curtains or sofa upholstery. Many people place a space heater near a sofa, so they can enjoy the extra warmth in comfort, but this is dangerous. While it might not be the most aesthetically-pleasing choice, storing your space heater in the middle of the room is by far the safest thing you can do.

 

 

Hopefully, the facts above will help you understand a little more about heating your home. Utilize the tips above to make the most of your heating system so you can be comfortable all winter long– and ensure you don’t receive a huge energy bill come the new year.

 

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