Have you fully prepared for this winter? Have you already set your house in a warm state? As winter comes, getting heat running in our house is very important as it can make us feel comfortable and keep us healthy.
However, the heating bill is probably going to spike this year, according to the report by the New York Times, which said: “…the heating bills in every home on average is about to rise 18% this winter compared to last year’s, reaching $1,208.” According to the latest data from the Federal Energy Information Administration, about 50% of all Americans use natural gas to get heat, and the cost of gas this season is about to rise 25% compared to last winter.
The rise in heating bills is not a new concern that just emerged. By summer, the financial expert Natalie Warb of CouponBirds, an online coupon-providing site, has predicted that the heating bills in the US would reach high in winter.
“The reasons may be complex, but all of them can be concluded to be the imbalance between energy supplies and demands,” Natalie said, “Now in summer, the price of gas is already going up because the demand for cooling is growing. It is not hard to imagine what it is going to be when we are approaching winter.”
The crisis of energy shortage has been continuing due to these two aspects: one is the increasing economic demand for energy because of the diminishing pandemic, and the other is the widespread impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine this year, which stressed the global energy supplies as well as generated a surge in exports.
Compared to just rising prices of energy in the US, things are getting pretty serious in Europe. Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent restriction of gas flows, Europe has been going through a huge energy crisis since Russia had been one of their most important natural gas suppliers. In order to avoid the following crisis of energy shortage, the Europe Union managed to fill its gas storage to 90% ahead of winter, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s quarterly report.
But that’s not enough. In Europe, the gas demand this year has fallen nearly 10% compared to last year, meanwhile, the demand of industry has also gone down by about 15% due to the cut of production.
In the US, the Department of Energy had predicted the rise in heating and energy bills and made some warnings about preparing in advance. People who receive their bill in November would surprisingly find that the cost has doubled. However, we can’t live without the heat in winter. Thus, how to avoid high heating bills? Here are some tips:
1. Be Careful of The Heating Leaks
When turning the heating on, make sure that you have closed all your windows and that all the cracks or crevices have been sealed. Check every corner of your house, like the pipes, the gaps around the chimney, the places behind your cupboard or closet, and the recessed lights in insulated ceilings. These are exactly the places where the heat in your house leaks out, and they may also cause potential safety hazards in your house.
It may be a little difficult to find these tools in the stores near your house, however, you can choose to shop online for more choices. Online tools like free coupon extensions can help you save more money when buying them! Installing draught-proof windows and doors also helps.
2. Make Full Use of The Sunlight
A house that faces south can get more sunlight than others. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, whether you are in the northern or southern part of the globe, the south side of any house can have the longest time of sunlight. Open the curtains during the day and let your body fully soak up the sunlight, as sunlight is the best natural source of light and heat.
When the sunlight is shining and you are feeling comfortable, try to turn down the heat and lights in your home. It can help you save a lot on heating and lighting bills.
3. Clean and Maintain Your Heating Systems Regularly
It would be very helpful to save money by regularly checking, cleaning, and maintaining your heating systems. You can hire some workers that help you regularly maintain your heating systems. You can also do it by yourself, by replacing the heat pump filters and your furnace at least once a month, and remembering to give your heating appliance a full clean-up once a year. To make sure that a heater that burns wood or pellets is heating effectively, clean the flue vent on a regular basis.
You should also give the appliance’s inside a periodic wipe-down with a wire brush. What’s more, remember to turn off all your appliances when leaving your house, no matter how little time you’re going out, as it will not only waste a lot of energy but put your house in great danger.
Have you prepared yourself for winter? Before saving money, health is always the most important thing. Put your comfort first, and with these tips, get yourself a warm and safe winter!