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Remember your power bill from last winter. Yikes! This winter is supposed to be just as cold. Here are some money saving tips you can do now to help keep your home warm by using less power and saving money.
1. Seal the Cracks
Beating the Draft with Caulk
The most common place for drafts in a home is around windows and doors. The minor cracks can be fixed with a short trip to your home improvement store. Caulk and door sweeps are two great tools to keep your home draft free in the winter. There are many types of caulk, so make sure you ask for assistance in the store if you are unsure which is best for your needs.
A Tight Seal for Doors
A door sweep or rubber gasket can easily be installed on your exterior doors. These will give your door a tighter seal and keep the warm air form leaving your home. Make sure you have your door’s measurements and specifics before heading out if you are fixing multiple doors.
2. Ceiling Fans Should Run Clockwise
It may seem strange to run a fan to warm up but it works. As the heat rises to your ceiling, your feet and floors below them will cool faster. Running your ceiling fan counter clockwise will direct the warm air back down to the floor and make your room feel warmer. There won’t be a direct breeze on you since the air is directed up and not down.
3. Embrace You Inner Chef
Cooking meals in your oven can actually heat your home quite well. In the summers, we head outside to cook on a grill to help keep our homes cooler. This same reasoning is beneficial in winter, too. By using your stove or oven throughout the day, your HVAC will be getting a break in maintaining the warmth of the home. Saving money and a home cooked meal as a bonus!
4. Lose the Flip Flops
Down south we love wearing sandals as long as we are able. At some point we need to realize that its time to retire them for the season. This doesn’t apply to all of our summer clothes, though. By adding an extra layer to your wardrobe, you will keep warm even as the temperature drops. So, keep wearing those tank tops or leggings, just wear them under your winter clothes to stay toasty.
5. Dress Your Windows
While you are adding layers, make sure your windows are not bare. Curtains do add a layer of insulation to the area of the house where we lose the most heat. If you already have curtains consider adding an extra layer. Black out curtains are a great idea to help insulate and you will probably sleep better, too.
See Also: Do Windows Impact House Temperature
6. Lower the Thermostat Gradually
You know keeping the heat running all day is what is costing money. A good way to lower it without freezing your family out is to do it gradually. Try getting it down 3-5 degrees over a couple weeks’ time. You won’t feel it as much if you take your time.
7. Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat like Ecobee or Nest can help lower your heating bill greatly. These thermostats learn your routine overtime and can self-adjust to keep your home comfortable. Many can also be controlled by your phone so there is no need to worry about leaving for a trip and forgetting to turn your heat down.
8. Dress Your Bed
When making your bed put the fluffiest and thickest blankets closets to you and the thinnest on the top. The thin blankets will actually help trap the heat under the sheets while the warm fluffy ones feel more comfortable on your skin on a cold night.
9. Humidify Your Home
When your home is being heated, the air will become dryer. Dry air does not hold heat as well or as long. Think about the term “Heat Index” in the summer. By adding humidity to the air, you will make your home more comfortable as well as more efficient in staying warm. Don’t have the money for a humidifier? Try adding soup to your diet. Boiling water for long periods of time will add humidity to your home’s interior. It won’t be as effective as a true humidifier but can give a sort term relief.
See Also: Humidity and a Southern Winter
We buy nice thermoses and travel cups to keep our drinks piping hot or ice cold, but what about our water heater? Where is its insulation? A quick trip to the home improvement store can save you money on heating your water. Water heaters are large machines which give it more opportunity to lose its heat. Simply wrapping it in insulation or a thick blanket can actually help it maintain its heat and not have to work as hard. This simple trick is a long-term money saver, year-round!
11. Routine Maintenance
The only thing worse than a high energy bill in winter is a broken HVAC. The cost of replacing an HVAC can be quite expensive. It is better to maintain the machine you have. Take the time to make sure that it is clean and running at its most efficient. You can do this my scheduling routine maintenance twice a year. It is often recommended to do this in the spring and autumn so there wont be any surprises of it going out when you really need it.