What happens when you're laying on the couch and feel a chill? Most people instinctively bump up the thermostat. But do you get up to turn it back down when you're warm? Or do you just leave it at that higher temperature?
While increasing the heat by a few degrees may initially warm your bones, your home may quickly become too hot or stuffy. This can cause allergy flare-ups, unhappy housemates, and even worse, an astronomical power bill.
Thankfully, it really is possible to have your cake and eat it too!
Keeping your home warm and saving money on your electric bill is not mutually exclusive. Let's take a look at how you can keep your home and family warmer while also reducing energy costs.
A Properly Insulated House Will Reduce Energy Costs
Insulation works to retain the temperature inside your home and prevent outside weather from impacting your home’s heating. Even on the coldest of days, good home insulation will keep heat in and significantly reduce your average electric bill. That is if your insulation is working properly.
If you haven’t checked your insulation in a while, it may be time for improvements. Consider contacting your local energy company and inquire about an energy audit, where a professional will come to your home and identify any inefficiencies.
You may not realize it, but wall insulation wears down over time and may become less effective in retaining heat. Windows and doors are also major culprits of leaking heat as the seals loosen. An energy audit may suggest replacing weather stripping or upgrading to thicker doors and double pane storm windows. It will also help pinpoint other air leaks such as those around dryer vents or cracks in your walls.
As energy efficiency takes center stage, power companies, product manufacturers, and even the government are offering rebates and discounts for upgrading home insulation to help homeowners reduce energy costs and consumption.
You can learn more about rebates available to you by:
- Talking to your power company
- Working with a local contractor
- Searching for rebates on Energy Star’s website
Improving your home’s insulation is the first step to a lower energy bill. This will complement any home heating improvements, including installing a smart thermostat.
Lower Your Energy Bill Systematically with a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats help keep your home warm, while also reducing energy costs. How do they do it?
Whether your heating system is powered by forced air, electric baseboard, or in-floor heating, you likely have a thermostat in place to manually adjust the temperature. Smart thermostats were designed to replace manual thermostats and control heating automatically.
Smart thermostats come with unique features like the ability to control the temperature from your smartphone or voice assistant, set heating schedules, track energy consumption, and learn your heating preferences. It's important to choose a smart thermostat with the features you desire, and that is compatible with your home’s heating system. For example, if you have high voltage heating, Mysa Smart Thermostats are a great choice since they were specifically designed to control high voltage heating.
Using automation, a smart thermostat helps lower your energy bill by reserving heat when you're not home and automatically turning it back on before you return. This ensures your home is comfortably heated and that you’re not wasting electricity to heat an empty house. Some smart thermostats will even learn your behaviour and adjust accordingly. For example, a device may lower heat in a room that is unoccupied for a certain amount of time or adjust preset schedules based on your manual temperature changes.
To save even more money on your electric bill, look for a smart thermostat with energy charting. This feature tracks your energy consumption so you are able to see when you use the most energy and make adjustments to reduce your energy consumption.
Reduce Energy Costs with Smart Temperature Zoning
We very rarely have to heat our whole house at the same time, but many homeowners do simply because they don't have another option. In homes with central heating, the most that can be done is close vents in unused rooms.
However, temperature zoning is a smart thermostat feature that makes it possible to lower your energy bill by only heating the rooms you're actively using. Rooms can be heated individually, or as groups, through programming built into your smart thermostat.
For example, you can group your kitchen and dining room as an entertainment zone and control the temperature of both rooms simultaneously. You could also create a separate zone for your basement, so you can turn up the heat before heading down to do laundry.
Kitchen Heat Can Help Reduce Your Power Bill Too
Another great way to save money on your electric bill is to use heat from cooking to your advantage. Gas and electric heat warm the area around your stove, oven, microwave or toaster, which then spreads throughout your home.
To lower your electric bill, plan your cooking projects to coincide with your home heating needs. For example, plan dinners that require longer cooking times or multiple pans for particularly cold days.
You can even use kitchen heat on nights you plan to eat out or order-in by meal prepping freezer-safe dishes like burritos, casseroles, and lasagna. Or you can pop in a tray of cookies for dessert!
Not particularly skilled in the kitchen? No problem! Store-bought lasagna and meat pies still take about an hour in the oven and can significantly offset home heating costs.
If you have a smart thermostat, it will detect heat coming from your kitchen and adjust the temperature accordingly. This helps keep your home from getting too warm, as well as save energy.
Carpeting & Rugs Can Reduce Energy Costs
Last, but certainly not least, don't overlook the power of an area rug or wall-to-wall carpeting. Your feet have a lot of nerves that detect temperature and tell your brain if you're warm enough. That's why putting on a thick pair of socks can make a big difference when you go out in the snow. Carpeting does the same thing by giving your bare feet a warmer surface to walk on.
If you prefer the look of tile, wood, laminate, or concrete flooring, area rugs are an excellent option. Store rugs during warmer months and roll them out again in the fall and winter. To save even further, use a smart thermostat to control your heating and conserve energy.
If you have in-floor heating, strategically placed area rugs can help retain heat even longer. To ensure further control of your underfloor heating, look for a compatible smart thermostat like Mysa’s Smart Thermostat for Electric In-Floor Heating.
It Is Possible to Stay Warm and Save Money on Your Energy Bill
Many people assume it costs more money to keep a house warm. The fact is, it simply takes smarter planning.
Proper insulation, a smart thermostat, temperature zoning, kitchen heat, and carpeting can all make a significant impact on reducing energy costs while maintaining a warm and comfortable home year-round.
Tell us about your home heating tips and troubles in the comments section below!