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Every winter my inner cheapskate screams for mercy because it costs so much to heat my tiny home.
I heat with electric baseboard heaters, so my electric bill (which hovers around $45 in the summer when I use the air conditioner) balloons to the triple digits. I’ve received $300 bills in the colder months here!
To help with the expense, I place quilts on the windows, over the doors, stuff insulation in every crack I encounter and research methods to locate ways that I can shave money off of this huge annual expense.
I finally found something that worked!
During my research over this past summer, I discovered a forum post that pointed out that the more devices you run to heat your home, the more energy that you use. That particular post was about portable heaters so I initially dismissed it but one morning as I sat drinking my coffee it occurred to me: baseboard heaters are individual devices.
My house is only 500 square feet in size. With the exception of Katie’s room, the house is open, so I wondered: what if I could reduce the amount of heaters that I used to keep this house warm?
We hadn’t turned on the heat at that point, so I resolved to try it for a month when I did and compare my utility bills to the previous year to see if the change helped.
It did. When my electric bill came in for the month of November it was only $73.69. Last year’s bill for the same time period was almost $90!
That worked out to a 15.57% savings over last year!
To verify, I compared billing dates and average temperatures for the period using the information available on my utility company’s site. There was only one degree of difference in temperature and three days’ difference in the billing cycle.
That’s not enough to account for the drastic reduction in my heating expense, so it must be because I am using one less heater to warm this home.
As a result I am going to keep the heater in the living room shut off for as long as I possibly can. I may have to turn it on if the temps get below zero but otherwise I am just going to use the heaters in the kitchen and Katie’s room to keep our house warm.
If you use multiple heaters to warm your home, perhaps you can benefit from this tip as well. Use a minimum amount of devices to heat, whether they are baseboard heaters or portables. If you close off any rooms in the winter, turn the heaters off in them entirely unless you have to keep them warm to prevent your pipes from freezing. If there are pipes in there, reduce the temperature to a bit above freezing to protect the pipes.
Hopefully you will be able to rake in the savings as I have with this little change.
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