Efficient Heating: How to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

by | Jun 22, 2024

Victoria gets pretty cold in the winter, and many residents are searching for budget-friendly heating hacks to keep their homes warm until spring. If your utility bills make you shiver, your house might be too cold—or you might be overpaying to heat it. Either way, you can make simple changes to keep your home warm and save money. 

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of winter heating tips to help you stay cosy and improve indoor air quality without overspending.

These tips aren’t about big projects like adding attic insulation or replacing windows—those can wait. Instead, they focus on easy, inexpensive techniques. The most complicated might take a weekend afternoon, but many require little time, and some just involve changing a habit or two. Others can be done for as little as $15. Let’s start with the obvious tips and move on to more specialised but simple energy-saving techniques.

Easy ways to make your house warmer this winter

  1. Install a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat lets you set different temperatures for different times of the day, saving you money. Set it lower when you’re sleeping or away and higher when you’re home. This can cut your heating bill by 10-20%. Some models even allow up to four temperature settings per day. Avoid using them with heat pumps, but they work great with other heating systems.

  1. Minimise those romantic fires

An open fireplace damper lets out as much heat as a wide-open window. Keep the damper closed when not in use and reduce the number of times you use the fireplace. A roaring fire pulls in cold air to replace the warm air it sends up the chimney, making your heating system work harder.

  1. Use ceiling fans wisely

Ceiling fans can help circulate warm air in rooms with high ceilings. Set them to spin clockwise at a low speed to push warm air down. If you can’t reverse the blade rotation or if it feels too cool, just leave the fan off.

  1. Change your furnace filter

Replace your furnace filter monthly during the heating season to improve efficiency and reduce dust. Filters cost about 50 cents each when bought in bulk. Alternatively, use washable filters (around $20 each), which can last up to five years.

Cost: Under $20 per year

  1. Adjust your water heater

Lower your water heater temperature from 60°C to 50°C and opt for showers over baths. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of hot water, while a bath can use up to 100 litres. Installing low-flow showerheads also helps save hot water.

  1. Prevent rapid cycling

Rapid cycling wastes energy and occurs when your heating system frequently turns on and off. Set your thermostat to respond to a 1-1.5 degree temperature drop to prevent this.

  1. Lower the thermostat

Lowering your thermostat by even a few degrees can save you money. Dropping from 22°C to 20°C can save up to 12% on your heating bill. Clean your thermostat for more accurate readings.

  1. Schedule HVAC inspection and furnace maintenance

Yearly furnace inspections and regular HVAC maintenance can save you money by preventing costly repairs and keeping your heating system running efficiently.

  1. Keep heating vents open and unblocked

Do you think that closing vents saves money? Think again! Your HVAC system is designed for your entire home, so closing vents won’t reduce the amount of hot air it produces. In fact, fully closed vents can overwork your system, leading to higher energy bills and potential damage over time. 

💡Bell Electrical tip: If you need to redirect air, partially closing vents can help, but always leave them at least 25% open to keep your system running efficiently.

  1. Buy a humidifier

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, making your home feel warmer. This can allow you to lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees, further reducing your heating bill.

  1. Choose wood over gas fireplaces

Wood fireplaces are more energy-efficient than gas fireplaces. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, use it to warm up your living room instead of relying on the gas one.

  1. Shut off exhaust fans

Limit the use of exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom during winter. These fans can pull out warm air, making your heating system work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

  1. Get free energy-saving tips

Looking for more ways to save energy? These websites for the Australian Department of Energy and Victoria state’s Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action offer plenty of easy and practical tips to help you make your home more efficient. Check them out for expert advice and simple strategies to keep your home cosy without breaking the bank.

heating in winter
cropped view of girlfriend and boyfriend warming up near heater

Your reliable electrician in Melbourne, VIC

Bell Electrical is a licensed electrician in the Bayside area: your perfect helping hand for all your electricity needs – from air conditioning services to heating systems for cold months. Our super-friendly team is always here to help you with any queries you might have. Reach out to us at 0411 471 922 for a free consultation.

Need Help?

Do you need to have your electrical systems done? Bell Electrical Contractors is happy to help. Call us on 0411471922 or email us at info@bellelectrical.com.au.