Following a recent bout of extremely cold weather where I live (and work) the question of paying for heating has come up.
We currently have oil fired central heating, which also does the hot water on demand (i.e. not heating up a whole tank of water and keeping it hot, instead only heating water as it is needed).
Roll Back Your Thermostat
When we moved into our house, the previous occupant had the thermostats set at 21 degrees centegrade at all times.
This meant that the heating was on in August, in the UK, when we moved in.
I reset the thermostats (we have one for upstairs and one for downstairs) to 15 degrees centigrade at all times. This means that the heating does not come on unless the temperature of the thermostat drops below 15, and it will only stay on until it reaches that level.
Now, I know what you are thinking. 15 is too cold!
It is cold, however, it is more cost effective to heat only the room that you are using, particularly given the rise and rise of the price of fuel oil.
We are fortunate in that we have a solid fuel fireplace in the sitting area of the house, which means we can heat that room for very little, though it would still be more cost effective were we to use a small electric fan heater for the room we are in rather than heating the whole upstairs or downstairs rooms.
Air Conditioning is Expensive
Cold isn't the only problem people face. Heat can be troublesome too. And also uncomfortable. But remember, air conditioning is expensive, so the cash clever advice is to use it only in extremis, or not at all.
I have lived through a heat wave in Australia (46 degrees C+) without air con. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but you do get used to the heat after a day or so. And the amount of money it costs to install, maintain and power air conditioning units in your house would be around the same price as going on a short holiday somewhere cooler during the next heat wave. While that is not a sensible suggestion, it should help to put things into persective. The golden rule? Air conditioning is a luxury – expect to pay a premium for it.
Comfort costs. Keeping warm or cool is comfortable. The cash clever way to manage the temperature at home (or work) is to make sure you aren't wasting time, money and energy on a couple of degrees here or there. If you're cold, put on another jumper, and count the savings you make!