Every winter, as the outside temperatures drop, the heating bills begin to rise. And we all know that one way to save money on those bills is to turn down your thermostat a few degrees. But if you don’t want to sacrifice your comfort for
the sake of cash in your pocket, here are some simple tricks that can help keep your toes toasty without costing you an arm and a leg.
1. Use Your Windows Wisely: During the day, open the blinds or curtains on any windows that get direct sunlight and let that free, all-natural solar power warm your home. But when the sun sets, cover those windows back up to keep the heat inside. Thick, heavy curtains can be especially effective “blankets” for your home.
2. Use Your Fireplace Sparingly: Wood-burning fireplaces are very inefficient sources of heat for your home. Although they heat the area directly in front of the fireplace, eventually all that heat goes up the chimney, and that creates a draft that draws even more cold air into your house. When you’re not using the fireplace, make sure the damper is tightly closed—otherwise, it’s essentially an open window.
3. Use Your Oven Frequently: Winter is a great time to do some baking! When you cook with your oven, heat from it will warm your kitchen and nearby rooms. This is also why you want to avoid using the oven too much in the summer time.
4. Use Your Ceiling Fan…in Reverse: Switching your ceiling fans over to winter mode will reverse their direction (from counter-clockwise to clockwise). This change will push warm air from the ceiling down towards the floor, which can be especially helpful in those hard-to-heat rooms with high ceilings.
5. Use Your Hands to Seal Up Cracks: Caulking and weather-stripping around your windows can keep the heat inside your home. Another common source of drafts is the gap underneath your exterior doors. Buy or make a “door snake” (or what the Brits more charmingly call a “sausage dog”) to place along the base of your exterior doors. According to BBC News, you can cheaply and easily make two of these “dogs” by cutting the legs off a pair of tights and stuffing each of them with old socks or dried beans.