Keeping warm in the winter can be a tricky task. If you don’t turn on the thermostat, you end up waking up every morning to sub-arctic temperatures inside the house. But if you do give in and crank up the heat, you’re slammed with an enormous heating bill. There are, however, several ways to stay warm in the winter without emptying you pocketbook.
Weatherizing the house is the most important key to preserving the heat in your house. Heat tends to escape from the house through small gaps under doors and windows-places you probably didn’t even know there was a leak. Start by caulking around the windows to trap air inside. Weather strips or rolled up towels can easily be placed underneath doors, to prevent cold air from making its way inside.
It’s also necessary to maintain the heating system. Clean or replace the furnace filter regularly, and get a programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat at the lowest comfortable setting, and turn it down at night. There’s no need to have the temperature set at 75° while you’re asleep. Keep the thermostat low during the night, or when you’re away, and turn it back up when you’re awake and moving around the house. There’s also no need to heat the entire house is you’re confined to one room. Shut off the vents to any unused rooms and channel heat into the more popular areas of the house.
There are also other means of staying warm. Load up on blankets and wear more clothes. You can also use a small floor heater or electric blanket to warm up a small, localized area. If you bake something in the oven, leave the door ajar afterwards so that the heat escapes in the house. Spend less time at home. Go out places during the day, and save the heater for early mornings and evenings when you’re home. By confining your energy use to the “off” hours of the day, you end up spending less per kilowatt hour than you would at the peak hours between 9 AM and 5 PM. If you can’t leave the house, simply curb your overall electricity use while the furnace is on. Instead of baking, cleaning, and running the dishwasher all at the same time, run the dishwasher in the morning, and save the baking for the evening off hours.
Keeping warm during the winter doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as easy as putting an extra comforter on the bed, or wearing a few more clothes at night. There are a vast number of tips and tricks to curb your energy use without sacrificing warmth in the process.