4 Best Alternative Heating Solutions


Heat Your Home For Less With These Alternative Heating Solutions

In the hard frost of the late winter months, it may seem worth it to crank your thermostat up or leave it on while you’re away. No one likes coming home to a chilly house, after all. Though the idea is tempting, you’ll most likely regret this decision when you receive your utilities bill for the month. Such high heating costs should have you considering other ways to heat your home to livable temperatures. Here are the four best alternative heating solutions for your home, which can save you money and keep you nice and warm.

1. Add Insulation

  • Cost: $900 to $1800
A cost-effective and valuable way to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is to invest in additional insulation. Though adding additional insulation to your home comes with an expensive upfront cost, the benefits it produces over time will eventually pay off this price tag. Depending on the city or state you live in, you might also receive a tax credit, rebate, or savings for installing additional insulation, making it even more affordable.

2. Buy A Space Heater

  • Cost: $30-$150
Though not meant to heat whole houses, space heaters can be incredibly effective at heating small areas. Purchasing an energy efficient space heater with a thermostat to use in the living room after dinner can save you money on your utilities. However, you need to remember to turn down the thermostat before turning on the space heater. That way, you’re only paying to heat the room you are in. Another important factor to take into account is that electricity often costs more per month than gas. That’s why buying an energy efficient space heater is important. If you crank an old, energy-consuming space heater for more than a few hours, you’re likely to spend more on your electricity, effectively eliminating the cost effectiveness of this purchase.

3. Use A Fireplace With An Insert

  • Cost: $2,000-$4,000 with professional installation
If you’re more into the nostalgia of a fireplace to warm your house, don’t let the heat escape you. Buying a fireplace insert for your home’s fireplace can help maximize the fire’s heat and keep the wood burning longer. You can further maximize the heat by getting a ventless system. However, buying a ventless system means that gas and other fumes go into your house instead of outside, so you need to be extremely cautious while using it. Vented systems are about 20 percent less efficient, but are often safer. While these units aren’t exactly cheap, they can pay for themselves if you like to use the fireplace when it gets chilly outside. If you use your fireplace often, an insert is well worth the investment.

4. Heat Yourself

  • Cost: Free-$150+
The idea to warm yourself and not the home around you isn’t new—why else would we have blankets?—but isn’t often used to its full potential. Sure, coming home after a long day of work to a freezing cold house is very unappealing, but simply changing into some comfortable tights, sweat pants, thick socks, and a sweater can save you a lot on your utilities bills. Even buying a heated mattress pad or using some electric blankets can save you money. For RichSoil.com author Paul Wheaton, warming the person, not the house, saved him 87 percent on his electric bill. That savings is definitely not something to scoff at.

Close The Holes

An alternative way of thinking is to keep the heat in instead of turning the heat up. To do so, you’ll need to seal up the holes where your hot air is escaping. This can be done by weatherstripping your home, closing the doors to rooms that are not frequently used, and closing the curtains at night. Though these ideas may seem overly simplistic, they are proven to work and will save you money on heating. Keeping your home warm during the winter can seem like an impossible and costly feat. But, with a few alternative methods to heating and some precautionary measures, you can keep toasty in the winter on a budget.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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