When the temperature starts to drop, it’s natural to want to crank up the thermostat to stay warm. But this isn’t always the best solution, especially if you’re trying to save money and energy this winter.
From quick hacks to inexpensive installations, there are several ways that you can keep your home cozy that don’t involve constant tampering with the thermostat. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that!
Assess your windows.
First, take a look at your windows. Are they well-insulated?
Windows are one of the main ways heat escapes from a home, so it’s important to make sure they are properly insulated. This winter, you might consider investing in or replacing weatherstripping or windowpanes. Making these simple repairs – especially on older windows – will keep heat from escaping through any cracks or holes, keeping it inside.
To replace old caulking and add weatherstripping, remove the caulk from the exterior window frame before running new caulk down the window seam. You can seal the interior of your windows too!
Seal up any cracks or gaps.
In addition to windows, there are other places where heat can escape from your home. Cracks in the doors, walls, gaps around pipes, and other openings can let precious heat out and cold air in. To fix this, use what’s left of your caulk or sealant to fill them in!
Install door draft stoppers.
Ensure all doors are properly sealed so the heat cannot escape. Door sweeps are a great way to create a barrier between the frosty air outside and the warm air inside. They are relatively inexpensive, great for winter (and summer), and easy to find at most home improvement stores.
As a bonus, they also keep your home safe and clean by keeping out moisture, dust, light, and insects.
Reverse your ceiling fans.
Using your ceiling fans in the winter sounds counterintuitive, but this way of thinking is precisely what can help you remember to counter their direction.
Ceiling fans create a gentle updraft, which can help to circulate the warm air already in your home. To use them for this purpose, simply reverse the direction of the blades.
Open your curtains when the sun is out.
When the sun is out, take advantage of it! Open your curtains and let the warm sunlight in. This will help to heat your home naturally.
Close your curtains at night.
When the sun goes down, be sure to close your curtains. Closing your curtains at night is a simple way to prevent the heat from escaping from your windows. By doing this, you’ll be able to trap in the warmth and keep your home nice and toasty.
If you don’t have curtains yet, hang up a few blankets for added insulation.
Whip up something warm in the kitchen.
Another surprisingly effective way to warm up your home in the winter is by baking! Once you’re done, turn off the oven and keep it cracked open to let the heat escape. This is a great way to utilize the rest of that excess heat and energy. Plus, nothing feels better than a warm and toasty treat when paired with a warm and toasty home.
With the door cracked open, your oven will cool down almost as quickly as it warms up your kitchen. But you still want to make sure not to leave it unattended if you have kids or pets at home.
Use space heaters (wisely).
Space heaters can also help supplement the heating in your home, but they should be used wisely. Always read the instructions carefully and never leave them unattended. Additionally, it’s best to use them in smaller rooms so that you’re not trying to heat the entire house with them.
If you have a fireplace, use it!
If you have a fireplace, the best time to use it is now! Not only will it help to heat your home, but it will also create a cozy atmosphere. Just be mindful of some safety precautions, such as using a fireproof screen and keeping any flammable objects away from the flames.
Keep your heating vents unblocked and open.
Here’s another tip that may sound counterintuitive, as you’ve probably heard before that closing vents in unused rooms will save money and energy. However, your HVAC system will generate the same amount of hot air regardless.
Heating vents should at least be partially open and not blocked by rugs, curtains, or furniture, allowing the heat to circulate throughout your home. On the other hand, leaving them closed can overwork your central air system, potentially leading to higher bills for energy and even damages.
It’s time to batten down the hatches and keep our homes warm this winter without breaking the bank. Just remember that saving costs on power bills doesn’t have to cost you comfort.