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5 Toasty Home Heating Hacks to Save Money

5 Toasty Home Heating Hacks to Save Money

If you want to efficiently improve your home’s heating, autumn is the best time of year to get prepared. Once the hot weather abates as autumn weather in Australia cools down, it’s full steam ahead to frosty mornings.

A cold snap will be here before you know it and your heater will be blasting. But if you’re worried about heating expenses, handy ways to heat your home and save money are always welcomed. And with these five toasty heating hacks, you’ll be on your way to a heartwarming winter.

The Facts About Home Heating

Roughly 40% of an Australian household’s energy usage is dedicated to heating and cooling, according to the Residential baseline Energy Study (2015). As most of us have to deal with weather extremes of 40°C, 0°C and everything in between, it’s understandable.

The vast majority of heating expenses are linked to colder states such as Victoria and Tasmania. Meanwhile, gas ducted systems and gas log fires tend to be the most commonly used heating systems.

High energy bills and recurring charges are a big reason why so many Australians opt to leave the heater off. Their seasonal air conditioning and heating usage feels like a burden even when comfort is compromised.

In terms of heating expenses, they can be influenced by several factors. The heater’s age, household insulation efficiency and the fuel source all impact energy requirements and utility bills. These various factors are why there is no one-size-fits-all solution. 

Thankfully there are flexible options we can all utilise to keep warm while saving money in the long run.

DIY Bubble Wrap Insulation

Did you know that bubble wrap is actually an effective insulation material? The bubbles provide a functional layer of insulation that slows the loss of heat from inside of your home. It’s a handy home heating hack for any exposed windows.

Now, bubble wrap certainly doesn’t compare with properly rated insulation. It can still deliver a boost for windows that otherwise would allow all heat to leave the home. To successfully install some DIY bubble wrap insulation, all you need to do is:

  • Purchase a roll of bubble wrap with medium to large bubbles
  • Cut the bubble wrap to size so that it fits the window perfectly
  • Spray a layer, or film, of water on the window with a spray bottle
  • Place the bubble wrap on the window with the bubbles facing away from you
  • Press down with enough force to make sure it adheres to the window

There’s no need for glue or adhesive. And when the time comes to remove the bubble wrap, it will peel off easily without damaging any windows. How good is that!

Bubble wrap can insulate windows

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are an underutilised home appliance. Not only can they keep your home cool in summer, but they provide additional warmth in winter. No matter the temperature, your ceiling fan is there to keep you comfortable.

All ceiling fans come with summer and winter settings. Changing those settings is not complicated, either. With a simple flick of the switch you can change the direction of fan blade rotation. 

For example, summer settings push cool air down in a counterclockwise direction. It replaces the warm air that fills a room, keeping everyone cool.

In winter, the clockwise rotation pulls cool air up. This forces the warm air that has risen to the ceiling, to flow down where people are relaxing. And when paired with a gas log fire or space heater, you can easily move heated air throughout a larger room.

Oven Magic: Bake and Roast More

One of the top tips for keeping your home cool summer is to use the oven less. It creates excess heat that’ll have you working up a sweat in an enclosed space. However, once those cold days arrive, baking and roasting some tasty treats are the perfect way to spend a day.

It’s important to acknowledge that your oven is not a heater. You should not just turn it on, leave the door open, and let the warm air flow out. This is dangerous and should never be done.

The convenience comes from the fact you’re already cooking and ambient heat will be produced. It means you can have some extra heat in the kitchen, creating a welcoming space to spend a day or evening. 

The heat won’t blast around the home so it is an isolated benefit. But it’s a wonderful winter heating hack for a date night or baking with the kids. 

Mother and daughter place an item in the oven

Install Wall and Ceiling Insulation

Some heating tips aren’t actually hacks or DIY jobs. For something like home insulation, you want professional installation and management. And we’re talking about more than just the bubble wrap mentioned earlier.

Insulation effectively slows or prevents the flow of heat. All types of insulation are rated with an R value. Higher numbers indicate better heat resistance. New builds will meet all necessary standards, however, older homes may not. That’s why you want to upgrade your home if you consistently feel the chill each winter.

With different types of insulation available, specific benefits are provided for certain climates. Therefore, you want to select the best type for your home and climate. That’s where you need a professional roofing contractor or tradesperson from Jim’s. We can source and install the appropriate insulation for your home without fuss.

Service and Clean Heaters

Focus on cleanliness and maintenance when you want to get the most out of your autumn heating and cooling. Dirty air conditioning filters are one reason why heating bills skyrocket, while poor maintenance puts you at risk of costly repairs.

Filters should be cleaned at least every three months. If you have a reverse cycle system that’s in use year-round, you definitely need to maintain it. Dirty filters force a heating and cooling system to work harder than it should, drawing on additional energy. This leads to increased energy consumption.

Your heater is more likely to break down, too. A routine service and thorough filter cleaning will keep your heater running strong. If you have a gas system it’s also important to maintain gas connections, gas burners and the flue. 

These tasks should always be undertaken by a licensed air conditioning technician. You want to know there is proper ventilation and safe operation of your heater. 

Ongoing filter maintenance rests on your shoulders. As does the maintenance of a clean space around indoor heaters and the outdoor unit. But when there’s an inaccessible outdoor system, or it’s time for an annual service, call in Jim’s Air Conditioning. We’re here for season air conditioning maintenance all year long.