With the temperatures cooling off, and the days growing shorter, more people are looking for ways to keep warm without spending any extra money. While your mother’s sage advice of “put on a sweater if you’re cold,” still applies, here are some alternatives she might not have suggested.
Tip #1: Insulate Your Windows
Windows are one of the biggest locations of heat loss. That’s why if you’re noticing a chill inside, it’s a good idea to ensure they’re closed, and to lower the blinds, draw the curtains, or both. If your windows are particularly troublesome, you could put plastic wrap over them, or hang a sheet or a blanket over them to provide a little extra insulation.
Tip #2: Don’t Heat Rooms You’re Not Using
Unless you’ve got a particularly big family, chances are good there’s at least one or two rooms in your house chances are there’s at least one or two rooms in your house you simply aren’t using all that often. If there’s no one in the guest room, or the study is empty three days out of the week, why are you wasting energy and money heating them? Shut the vents, close the door, and watch your energy costs dip.
Tip #3: Never Underestimate The Value of a Space Heater
Space heaters are ideal for people who want to be comfortable, but who don’t want to break their piggy banks heating the whole house. Whether you’re curling up for bed, or stretching out on the couch, a space heater can make sure the room you’re in is perfectly pleasant, even if the rest of the house is a bit chilly. This being said, there’s a fine line here and you need to be wary of it. Some space heaters consume a lot of energy and so you’ll need to experiment a bit to find the happy medium.
Tip #4: Turn Off The Heat When You’re Not Home
While the idea of sitting in a house with no heat might be miserable, what difference will it make if you’re off on a business trip for the weekend, or at work for the next 9 hours? One of the best ways to save money on heating your home is to turn off the furnace when you’re not there to enjoy the heat. If you have a timer on your thermostat, you can program it, and forget about it!
Tip #5: Use Cold Water in The Wash
Hot water is another big source of energy spending in the colder months, so skip it when you can. While taking cold showers might be a bit extreme, you can wash most of your clothes in cold water without any problems. Try it out for a month, and look at the difference in your bills. As a side note, try turning off the shower when you soap your body each day and then turn it back on to rinse. You’ll not only save on your heating bill, but you’ll save on your water bill as well and likely conserve soap too!
Tip #6: Keep Your Temperatures Low
Turning your thermostat down even a few degrees can have a big effect on your bill. Not only that, but if you gradually lower the temperature you can be comfortable at, you’re going to save a little more every month.
Tip #7: Turn Off Your Ventilator Fans
We’ve gotten used to just turning on the fan to jettison smells we don’t like from the bathroom or the kitchen. However, those fans often take some of your heat with them when they run and consume power as well. So, next time you’re about to flip that switch, instead, just leave it.
Tip #8: Increase Your Humidity
A dry cold often feels worse, and it can lead to moisture being sucked right out of your skin. A humidifier is a good way to add both heat and moisture into the air. However, if you don’t want to use the power to run a mechanical humidifier, consider bringing some plants into your house or just leaving some open pans of water. It’s amazing the difference a little evaporation can make in your comfort level.
Tip #9: Add Draft Blockers Under Your Doors and In Your Electrical Sockets
Doors are probably the biggest offenders next to windows. That’s why adding an extra pane of exterior glass can make a big difference. If you don’t have a secondary door, though, you can still block drafts coming under the door with a towel, or with a piece of foam that fits beneath the door. For your electrical sockets, buy special inserts that prevent drafts from traveling through them. As an added safety bonus, these inserts will prevent your children from sticking unwanted items into them as well!
Try out these tips and you’ll be several steps closer to living comfortably & affordably during the long winter months.
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