When temperatures go down, energy bills rise up. Blasting up your thermostat seems like the easiest way to keep your home warm during the winter, but it can add up to your costs fast. The good thing is, there are other ways to heat your home that doesn’t involve blasting up your heaters.
Here are some ways to keep warm without running the heat too high:
1. Check for drafts in your window frame
If your window frames have gaps, leaks or cracks, heat can escape and chilly winds can come in. Check all your windows that open to the outside. You can use a draft detector or simple flashlight to check for drafts. During the night, have another member of your household stand on the other side of your light source. If they can see light passing through, you must apply caulk to seal it. You can also do it with incense, and check if the scent passes through.
2. Add insulation
Insulated walls and windows are the standard nowadays, but if you’re living in an older home, you may need to add some more insulation. Installing it certainly does cost a significant amount, but it pays off in the long run as it helps reduce your energy bills.
3. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan
A lot of ceiling fans in the market offers a reversible option to do the opposite effect of cooling. The default setting of ceiling fans makes the blades force the air down, where it pushes against cooler air. During the winter, you can reverse your fan’s direction to clockwise to pull warmer air from the ceiling and push it into the room. This will help you feel warmer for longer, so you can also prevent turning the heat up your thermostat.
4. Use draft stoppers on your front and back door
Keep cold air from seeping underneath the door using a draft stopper. This will prevent cold air from creeping through space under your door. Make sure you use it on your front door and back door, and any other doors that allow exit to the outside world.
5. Cover your bare floors with rugs
Walking on bare floors can feel so cold on the feet during the winter. Also, did you know that heat can escape through your floorboards? It’s just logical to lay down some area rugs on your floors during the cold months to help insulate your rooms and keep your feet warm. Go for the fluffy, thick kinds like (faux) sheepskin and wool to provide coziness for your feet, as well as add a dose of style in your room.
6. Cover your windows
Outdoor temperatures can seep through the glass, so you can use a heavier window treatment during the winter to keep the cold temperature out. Cover up all your windows with heavy lined drapes. Keep them closed during the night, but open it up when the sun is out to bring in warmth. It’s also a great choice to pick heavy thermal curtains to trap the heat inside. For a quick fix when it’s too cold, put bubble wrap on your windows to cut heat loss in half. It’s not attractive, but it will help you save money on energy costs.
7. Use your thicker bedsheets
It’s pretty much common sense to use your bedsheets that provide most warmth during the winter. Just like clothing, layers of bedding will help keep you warm during bedtime. Swap those cotton or sateen sheets for flannel sheets and thick comforter. An electric blanket can also help you get extra warm, but keep it on top, not layered underneath. Make sure you also use it safely, as this is not recommended for kids’ bedrooms and for the nursery.
8. Close off unused rooms
The larger your house is, the more energy it needs to heat. If you have an empty guest room or a storage space you’re not opening for a while, close its vents and the door and seal it with a draft stopper. That room might be cold, but at least you’re not wasting the energy and money on heating it.
9. Consider installing a programmable thermostat
Most people lower the heat all the way when they leave the house, then raise it up when they return. They think this is a way of saving energy, but it actually isn’t. This practice makes the thermostat work harder to make up for such a drastic change in temperature, defeating the purpose of lowering the temperature itself. However, programmable thermostats can help you heat your home more efficiently. Consider replacing your old thermostat with a programmable one.
10. Let the hot air from your cooking warm the kitchen
During winter, warm food and drinks are very comforting. Plus, the heat given off by your cooking materials like the stove or the oven can add to the warmth of the atmosphere around the kitchen. Prefer cooking in a gas stovetop instead of your induction cooktop (in case you have both) – this will warm you up as you cook. Once you’re done baking or roasting in the oven, turn it off and leave the door open to make hot air spread into the kitchen. But don’t take this to extremes though – don’t run an oven just to heat your home, as it consumes more energy and gives off dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (if it’s a gas oven).
11. Sleep with a hot water bottle by your foot
This may be an old trick but it really works. Pour hot water under the sheets when it’s time to sleep and enjoy toasty toes all night long. If you want something techier, get heated mattress pads that do the job right.
12. Light up some candles
Winter is a great season to light up your candles at home. Yes, it can provide light and heat, as well as add ambiance to your home.