If you are trying to cut back on your heat usage but still want to stay warm during the winter, there are plenty of ways to prepare your home so you can enjoy both. We have gathered a list of 10 of the best ways to stay warm at a low cost to you.
1. Use your curtains
Heat from the sun is free! Even when it’s cold outside, the sun is still warm. For windows facing the south, open the curtains and take advantage of this free heat. When then sun goes down, shut the curtains, which act as an extra layer of insulation to keep heat in the room. You may even consider insulated curtains for winter use.
For windows not facing the south, you might want to add insulating window coverings. For a cheap short term solution, you can use duct tape and an old blanket. It might be ugly, but it is certainly cheap and practical. Additionally, if you have a relatively large window you can duct tape a large clear shower curtain over it. A shower curtain is thicker than an insulating kit and will allow sun in during the day but still provide the air gap needed to reduce heat loss.
2. Install a programmable thermostat
If you have a routine schedule of when you are home and away from home, this will allow you to keep the heat low while you’re away and reduce heating costs. This is how This Old House suggests you should program your thermostat during the week if your house is empty during the day:
6 a.m. to 9 a.m. = 68 degrees
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. = 60 degrees
5:30 to 11 p.m. = 68 degrees
11 p.m. to 6 a.m. = 60 degrees
You can adjust the temperature and times to you better fit your preferences and schedule.
3. Move your furniture
Check around the house and make sure that heat vents aren’t blocked by any furniture and if they are, try to move your furniture away, if only for the winter. It might feel nice to have your favorite seat right next to the warmth, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. By moving it away, hot air can circulate freely. This will ensure that each room is getting its maximum heat potential.
4. Use your ceiling fans
If you have ceiling fans in your home, see if they have a switch to change the direction of the fan. Set it so that it moves clockwise instead of counterclockwise. Heat rises, so the clockwise-spinning fan will push it back down instead of being trapped up at the ceiling. Some experts claim the fan will cool the air too much, but try it on a low speed, and see for yourself how it works.
5. Seal the leaks
Air leaks are common in doors and windows but can come from other less noticeable sources. For example, attic doors can be a large source of heat loss. Try to keep your attic access well insulated. For air leaks from doors, you can install a draft excluder, which is essentially a tube on the bottom of the door which helps stop heat from escaping.
6. Close doors
If there are certain rooms that you spend a lot of time in, you can keep the doors to those rooms closed and allow heat to build up. You can also close doors to rooms that you don’t use very often and close the vents in those rooms as well. That way you won’t be using heat in places that don’t need it, and the warm air will spread quicker and easier to rooms you do use. This will also save a little bit on your heating bill, too. However, be sure to not let rooms get too cold if they have plumbing. You don’t want your pipes to freeze.
7. Use the oven.
When you finish baking, leave the oven slightly open to allow the heat to dissipate into the house.
8. Reflect heat.
If you have radiators you can put tinfoil on the back of the radiator which will reflect heat back into the room rather than it floating up to the ceiling.
9. Use a Humidifier
When there is more moisture in the air, it can feel warmer. If you run a humidifier, you can raise the humidity levels in the room to warm it up. You may find that you don’t need to set your thermostat as high, which can save you a large amount of money on your heating bill.
10. Use a space heater.
Space heaters are great for keeping a room warm but can be a big fire hazard. The same fire safety rules for holiday candles apply: Keep any flammable material at least three feet away, and make sure the heater is on an even and stable surface. Never leave space heaters on overnight or when you leave the home. Consider buying one that has a timer feature and that shuts off automatically when tipped over.
At the end of the day, as long as everyone in the house is warm and comfortable (and the house isn’t cold enough for the pipes to freeze), that’s what really matters. You don’t necessarily need to keep the entire house warm. Wearing warm sweatshirts and sweaters, drinking hot coffee or tea and using thick blankets can also be a viable tactic to stay warm. Combining these with the tips above will help you survive the winter comfortably and cheaply!
Here at Lantz Family Insurance Agency we are committed to providing our clients with quality insurance and superior customer service – including when disaster strikes. Should the need arise to file a claim, we’re ready to assist you in any way we can. Call us for a FREE, No Obligation Quote at 774-992-0789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter C. Lantz (Pete) has been a Licensed Insurance Agent in Massachusetts for more than 10 years. He has worked for Arbor Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and USA Wealth Group, Inc. as an Insurance Broker and Financial Advisor. Pete has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Pete has his Real Estate Brokers’ License, as well as Life and Health Insurance Licenses.