The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

How Iowa Homeowners Can Stay Warm Without Breaking the Bank

On average, Iowa residents will spend around $150 on heating their homes each month. This figure is rapidly increasing in light of the recent energy crisis. Are you looking to lower your energy bills and weather the storm?

Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t mean going cold this fall.

Keep reading as we discuss how Iowa homeowners can stay warm as fall rolls around – without paying more for their energy!

Why Is My Electricity Bill So High?

Noticed an uptick in your electric bill, and don’t know why? Here are some of the probable reasons for high heating bills to help you get to the bottom of it:

  • Failing to provide estimated bills. Don’t forget to provide your energy supplier with regular energy meter readings. They do matter. Otherwise, your heating and energy bill may be more than expected, as the energy company will estimate your energy usage based on your prior readings.
  • Standby power consumption. Leaving your devices on standby mode all the time? You can reduce your energy bill by as much as $200 annually by switching your devices off at the source when you’re not using them. This includes kettles, TVs, washing machines, game consoles, printers, laptops, and anything with a standby button.
  • Using inefficient appliances. Regularly updating your home’s appliances isn’t just a matter of having the ‘latest and greatest’ technology. It can help you save money. Newer device versions have features that make them more energy efficient, reducing the amount of energy you use daily. Check the efficiency of your fridge, freezer, washer, dryer, and other appliances to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your bills.
  • Using non-LED bulbs. Switching from older light bulbs to new LED light bulbs can reduce the cost of lighting your home, as newer bulbs are far more efficient.
  • Overusing appliances. Do you do small loads of laundry or switch the dishwasher on when it’s not full? This behavior is no friend to your energy bills and isn’t worth it in the long run.

These things can contribute to your energy bills, not just your heating. If you’ve taken steps to mitigate these issues, and your electric and heating bill is still high, is it time to look at your heating efficiency?

Top Tips for Staying Warm in Fall

Want to maximize your heating efficiency? Check out these top tips for keeping your home warm this fall.

Invest in a New Boiler or Heat Pump

Did you know a new boiler can offer you up to 100% efficiency? If your boiler is over 15 years old, it won’t run optimally, and you could be bleeding money when heating your home. New boilers have condensing technology that reuses heat from the boiler for more efficiency.

If you don’t have a condensing boiler, it’s time to consider making the switch. You’ll find your boiler’s age by checking underneath the unit for the product model number and make. Then, you can use your friend the internet to help you find out how old it is!

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, a heat pump is your guy. Switching from a gas boiler to a heat pump can lower your carbon footprint by 70%? They’re extremely efficient, using hot air from the surrounding environment to provide a steady flow of warm air for your home’s central heating system and water tank. Check out an air-source heat pump for more economical temperature regulation at home.

Draught-Proof Your Home

Draughty homes are cold homes. No matter how much heat you pump through your central heating system. If you haven’t draught-proofed and insulated your home yet, it’s time to start.

You should start by sealing your skirting boards, windows, and doors. Then, ensure your roof structure is properly insulated. Since heat rises, you can lose a lot of heat through any gaps in your insulation.

If you live in a newer home, you’ll likely have cavity walls. Cavity walls have a small gap which can become host to a whole bunch of cold air, reducing your home’s heat retention. If your home’s bricks are evenly spaced and symmetrical, you should invest in cavity wall insulation by speaking to a local contractor.

Use Electric Blankets

Sometimes, you don’t need to heat your whole house. When you’re sleeping, you don’t need all the rooms in your home to be perfectly warm – just you and your bed. This is where a heated blanket comes in handy.

Electric blankets plug into a wall socket, using thermal coils to provide heat at a much lower cost than your central heating. Covering yourself with an electric blanket at night means you won’t need to switch your heating on, saving you enormous energy.

If you work from home, you can simply place your electric blanket over your desk chair to create a ‘heated seat’. Pair it with thick socks or slippers, and you won’t feel cold. This is a great way to avoid using central heating all the time as a remote worker.

Please note that you shouldn’t leave electric blankets folded while switched on, and you shouldn’t use them for your pets, either. However, make sure your sockets work adequately to prevent any dangerous situations.

Roll Out Some Rugs

Find yourself feeling chilly when walking around your house? Cold floors can seriously lower your core body temperature and make your toes unbearably cold. Investing in some rugs will provide an extra layer of insulation, ensuring your heat doesn’t escape through the floor. Your floor will absorb the heat in the room, which won’t be good for your energy efficiency. A fluffy rug or two won’t cost much and you can enjoy comfortable, cozy, and warm feet all through the colder seasons.


Winter’s coming, so it’s time to get your house in order and invest in home heating solutions. How energy efficient is your home? Consider installing an air-source heat pump and review your energy bills, appliances, insulation, and heating efficiency to save money while staying warm this winter. Start your winter-proofing early so you can enjoy the cuddling weather with peace of mind!

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