5 Ways to Stay Cozy While Curbing the Costs of Winter Chill
The colder weather prompts us to stay in more, using more energy to light our homes, keep us warm and entertain us as the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Most of the time this means our utility bills go up while we try to keep our homes comfortable. You might be wondering what you can do to avoid some of those costs, other than putting on your fluffy slippers and hibernating all winter.
That’s why we’ve gathered some tips from the US Department of Energy to keep your home heating costs within reason this upcoming season.
1. Use the sun for free heat
Keeping the curtains on your south facing windows open during the day allows sunlight to naturally heat your home. Just remember to close them at night to keep the heat inside and reduce any chill from the windows.
2. Reverse your ceiling fans
If you’re like most people, you think of fans only on a hot summer day. However, they are just as useful in the winter. Switch your ceiling fan to run clockwise by flipping the switch on its base. Since warm air rises, the fan helps circulate that warm air back down to keep your room comfortable. Here’s an extra tip: Keep the speed low to reduce cool breezes.
3. Adjust your thermostat often
The set it and forget it method is probably not the most effective or cost-efficient method to heating your home. When you’re home and awake, set your thermostat to as low as it is comfortable, the Department of Energy recommends setting it to 68°F. When you’re asleep or out of the house, you can save money by turning the thermostat down 7°-10°F for eight hours a day. Keep your pets in mind when you make these adjustments, the temperature of your home needs to be comfortable for them. You can make these changes manually but setting up a programmable thermostat might be a better option for you.
4. Use space heaters where extra heat is needed
After you’ve lowered the baseline temperature of your home, there may be spaces that you want to be warmer. This is where a space heater can come in handy. They are not efficient at warming large spaces and shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a traditional heating system. However, they are perfect for supplementing the heat in the room you spend most of your time.
5. Cover drafty windows
Covering your windows is a great way to seal out cool winter air. You can do this a couple of ways. An easy solution is installing tight fitting insulating drapes. For an even more comprehensive solution, you can mount a frame with a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet around the window or tape clear plastic film to your window frames. Just make sure the plastic is tightly sealed to reduce any drafts.
By following these simple steps, you can help keep your heating costs in check throughout the winter months.