Stay Warm This Winter Without Burning Through Your Budget
Cold weather has already started to sweep through much of the country. It is time to start thinking about ways to save on your utility bills rather than just turning up the heat, which can actually affect your health negatively due to the dry warm air. From programmable thermostats to snuggle time on the couch, the following suggestions are cool ways to stay warm this winter without breaking the bank.
If you do not already have a programmable thermostat installed, now is the ideal time to head to your local hardware store. These innovations can help you not only control your HVAC system when you are away, but you can also set it to the optimum temperature based on your schedule. Direct Energy notes that your home should hover around 68° during the day and drop down to as low as 62° at night.
Acclimate and adjust
Maybe you are not quite ready to commit to being cooler indoors. In this case, it’s perfectly fine to start the season off at your desired temperature, and then drop that number 1° each week until you are comfortable at 68°. Keep in mind that a 1° difference can save 3 percent on your utility bills.
Fuzzy blankets are your friend to stay warm this winter
Once you have your house at a money-saving temperature, you may find that you still get cold toes in the evening hours. In addition to slipping on your favorite pair of fuzzy socks, you can utilize the heat your body makes naturally by cuddling under a warm blanket. Macy’s is one of the best places to buy these because they typically run great sales through the holiday season and beyond. If you like saving money, you can find Macy’s coupon codes on a website like Rakuten, where you can also enjoy cashback on any purchases.
Look at your fireplace
Is there anything that says winter more clearly than sitting in front of a fireplace, snuggling under your blankets, and listening to crackling logs? Not really, but this idealized scenario may actually be doing your heating bill more harm than good. We Love Fire explains that a standard open masonry fireplace won’t lend well to warmth. Instead, it may actually suck the warm air out of your house and send it fluttering up the chimney. Contact your local chimney sweep to make sure that your fireplace is in good working order, or ask about having it retrofitted for a high-efficiency gas fireplace or EPA-certified wood fireplace. If you don’t have the budget for this, install an inexpensive fireplace door insert and keep it shut. This will reduce the draft coming in from overhead.
Seal it up to stay warm this winter
Your fireplace is not the only open access for unwelcome wind. Your windows and drafty doors are also guilty of elevating your heating and cooling bills. Allstate says that simply insulating and sealing your home can shave 15 percent off your annual temperature control costs. Your windows are not all bad, however, and once they are sealed, you can pull the curtains open so the sunshine can do its job of warming things up, too. Just don’t forget to close them once the sun goes down.
Check your vents
If you’ve already gone through each of your unused rooms and closed the air vents, you may be working against yourself. According to Bryans United Air Conditioning, restricting the airflow can actually cause your energy bills to soar. This is because it decreases efficiency and increases air pressure. Instead of directing air to the rooms you occupy, you may inadvertently increase your home’s energy use by pushing the warm current out through air leaks in the ductwork.
Winter is uncomfortable for most of us, but you can keep your home and its occupants from shivering until spring by using the above tips. Plus, you won’t have to sabotage Santa’s budget to get it done.
You may also be interested in reading more about the author’s other articles for organizing your home and keeping it in its top shape.