10 Insights on the Best Way to Heat the Home and Save Money


The rising cost of heating has been a big concern for many families in the past year. Luckily, the winter has been relatively mild, but many residents have been attempting to find ways to stay warm and keep costs low. A budget-minded fellow used a post in a famous Internet forum to poll others about how they plan to reduce future heating charges and asked, “Is using electric heaters for the rooms or a regular central heating system cheaper?”

1. When Heating Homes, Dehumidifiers Are A Little Known Secret Weapon

This commenter revealed an alternate use for dehumidifiers. They stated, “If you have a well-insulated house and try to seal any draughts, then a dehumidifier plus heat from cooking and running appliances is enough to heat the home. You’ll get condensation if you try this without a dehumidifier or mechanical heat exchange vents.”

2. Germany Sets An Example Of How To Stay Warm and Dry

One Briton explained this idea, “Outdoor air is deficient in humidity, and opening your windows would help expel the damp air inside. I’ve read about German people doing this very regularly. I haven’t seen any studies on cost differences, but warming dry air is quicker than warming wet air, so even heating a colder but dry room could be more beneficial.”

A German responded, “Germans do this, but we also have many better-insulated houses and less humidity.”

3. The Size Of The Home Matters

When attempting to answer the question of central heating versus space heating, this person stated, “Yes, but it depends on the size of the home. Gas or oil central heating heats the whole home unless you turn radiators on and off, depending on which room you want to heat. The upside of electricity is that it can just heat one room for a short period.

By far, the most efficient option for most people is to leave the radiators in unused/lightly used rooms on low, adjust the radiators in other rooms as needed, and use direct heating, electric blankets, hot water bottles ideally filled from a hot tap, not a kettle, to heat the person rather than the room.

Letting individual rooms go cold is a false economy as you end up with mold and spending the money you saved from heating on repairing the damage instead. Also, getting sick because of mold is nasty.”

Related: Use these tips to slash your monthly bills and save $7,000 annually

4. Economic Thinking

When you think about it, how much time do you spend in your house while you need heating? One commenter did the math and said, “I look at it this way. I’m out of the house nine hours a day at work with one hour of commute time and two hours in the gym. So half the day, I’m in a different place, and I’m asleep seven to eight hours a day, so I won’t worry too much about the heating turned on when it’s a work day.

The only time I turn the heating on is my day off. I’ll turn it on for an hour in the morning to initially heat the living room and an hour in the evening to take the edge off it.

You put the central thermostat in your most used room and turn the radiator in it up to complete (the central thermostat acts as the radiator thermostat in that room), and set the thermostats in your other rooms to around the level you expect or even don’t use a thermostat valve in them and adjust the standard valve down.

Then just after that main room/living room gets up to temperature, you nip around and change the thermostats/valves in the other rooms based on whether they’re too hot or cold because that’s how much heat they’ll get in the time it takes to heat the living room.

Repeat for a few days, and you’ll have it set up correctly. The heating will heat the living room to the level on the thermostat, and the other rooms will end up around the temperature you set.”

5. Alternate Heating Sources Can Play A Part

Alternate power sources and heating can significantly help people who need heat during the coldest months of the year. In the U.K., there is an effort to use more efficient methods for heating homes. A person stated, “I work for the Highland council, and the big issue we face is installing non-gas systems.

Storage heaters cost a fortune, so our next best option is an air-source heat pump, and the prices are comparable to gas if you have a well-insulated home. On top of that, we are now installing solar panels and storage batteries for our tenants. One tenant told me their bills cost just £10 that month. I was so pleased.”

Related: Here are over 100 creative ways to save money

6. Keep Active If You Can

It is a fact that when you are more sedentary, your body temperature is lower. Winter months and the cold can make people want to move about less. This commenter reminded everyone that movement could make you warmer, and they recommended a few ideas to help that don’t involve using energy sources.

He said, “I know this seems dumb, but doing brisk cardio also works wonders; going for a run and drying the sweat off immediately and having a quick tepid shower to refresh can leave you feeling warm for hours afterward with improved blood flow and open capillaries/vessels. If you’re a non-runner, there’s never been a better time to start with the couch to 5K.

Also, porridge can warm you. Electric blankets are amazingly efficient at heating the person rather than the room. I’ve just bought a 100w towel rail, and removing some dampness from a bath towel is good.”

7. Window Scrapers Are Also Useful

One troublesome feature of the U.K. climate comes from the country sitting on a series of islands. Because the seas are all around, the air is very damp. This comment is from a common sense person who said, “My advice: keep windows open during the shower and after, and keep the bathroom door closed. My new tip for showers: Ikea window scraper.

Post shower, pull the scraper over the walls in a cubicle and the shower tray. Send all that water down the plug hole otherwise. It will evaporate and work around the house—open the window when cooking inc when using the fan. Keep windows open if you have a utility room. Don’t dry clothes on radiators around the house.

If you must, assign one room and keep the door closed and the window opened.”

8. How To Make Sure Mold Stays Out

Much of the talk about condensation and humidity building up in homes is a caution against mold growing in the home. A building service engineering graduate offered advice on how to avoid such trouble from happening in their house. They counseled people to “ensure the building stays above 17 degrees overall to ensure no damage, such as mold, occurs.

If you have a very well-insulated structure, the best heating system would be water underfloor heating connected to a heat pump. Still, Central heaters are only efficient if possible. I recommend keeping the house at 18 to 19 degrees and using a heated blanket to help stay warm for added heat. Running one at the current energy price would be around three to six pence an hour per blanket.”

9. Making Sure The Home Is Winter Proofed

Some great suggestions came from users who recommended draught-proofing and wall and floor insulation. If you have the funds, my friends recommend heated throws which are very cheap to charge.” Another person gave this tip to help out, “I’ve put that silver-padded foil behind all my rads, and I’ve been able to reduce my thermostat by 5 degrees!”

Related: Here is how to save money on laundry

10. Every Little Bit Helps

A few more humorous but practical suggestions came up during the discussion. One person said, “Get an Oodie, a wearable blanket; it’s not a spelling mistake. My other half bought me one as I work from home often, and putting on the heating for just me is pointless. Absolute game changer and incredibly warm. The downside is not being able to wear it during video calls since you’ll look silly.”

The other suggestion comes with pet companionship, namely cats. The pet fan said, “Get a pair of bonded cats. They’ll sleep on you, and it’s like a heater and weighted blanket in one, lmao.”

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