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As the temperature starts to take a dip, there are some simple things you can do to help keep your home warm this winter. Easy tips to reduce heat loss and keep utility costs lower.
Inexpensive Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter
Brrrrr…..dropping temperatures are around us. Outside the home and unfortunately inside the home too.
Winter is here or for some, just around the corner, depending on where you live. This means that the rising cost of utilities is right around the corner too. This year, let’s prepare to keep your home toasty and warm while keeping those bills down.
There are easy ways that you can keep your home cozy inside without increasing your utility costs. Let’s talk about some ways that you can keep your home warm this winter without having to spend a fortune. These aren’t big projects like adding attic insulation or replacing your windows—save those for later. They’re easy-to-do and inexpensive techniques.
Many times, when you declutter your home, you find ways to help reduce the cost of your bills.
Keep Your Home Warm This Winter
Let’s start with these easy tips.
Seal Cracks Around Doors and Windows
There are often cracks around windows and doors where cold air can seep in, making your house feel cold. Letting that heat that you paid for out. Use caulk to seal small cracks around your window and door frames, and use expanding foam for larger cracks or holes.
If you feel cold air seeping in underneath your exterior doors, consider adding a door sweep to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. If you have a problem with cold air seeping in under interior doors, you can make or buy a door snake.
A door snake is a long thin piece of cloth filled with dried beans or rice that will keep cold air from seeping out under the door. You can buy them inexpensively, or make your own with scrap fabric.
Don’t Use Your Fireplace
On the coldest of days, you know once you open up the flue, cold air follows in. And not just a little, but a lot. Sure, it feels good to sit by a warm fireplace, but in reality, the BTU’s of warmth is going right up the chimney.
In the winter, and on the very cold days, limit the number of times you use your fireplace. It is important to make sure your flue is closed when you don’t have a fire going. I have some friends who actually lock down their fireplaces (for winter) by selling them off and insulating the space.
Thinking about your fireplace, it is a BIG hole to the outside world. Keeping it closed off will help your home stay warmer in the winter months.
Replace Furance Filters
If you have a forced-air furnace, make sure that you change your furnace filter once a month. This will keep the dust down inside of your home and reduce the amount of wear and tear on your heating system.
This will keep your system lasting longer. And will be less likely to break down.
To save even more money, you can search out washable furnace filters. Yes, they do make them.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans are not just for the summer months.
Your ceiling fan can help to push warm air that stays around the ceiling down into the room where you can feel it. Make sure to switch your ceiling fan from counter-clockwise in the warmer months to clockwise in the colder months.
By making this small change, you will bring rising warm air down to the areas needed most.
Close off Unused Rooms
If you have rooms in your home that aren’t being used daily like a guest bedroom, or home office, consider closing those rooms off by shutting the door and closing the vents in those rooms. This way the warm air can be pushed to rooms that you are using.
Finish up the seeling these rooms off. End by using a door snake to keep cold air from seeping out under the door.
Install a Door Sweep
Drafts are likely to come into your home under doors. You can easily solve this problem by using a “door snake,” a long thin cloth sack, like a beanbag. I have seen them in-store to purchase, but you can make them at home and save money. Or you can use an old pool noodle. I found this creative idea here.
Cook at Home
We all have a tendency to want warm comforting foods when it is cold out, and around the holidays we often bake more too. As you know cooking and baking at home, will you save money. Meal planning is a great way to save money and your sanity. Plus, there are a variety of ways you can save on energy throughout your kitchen.
The big bonus during the winter is that warm air from the stove will help heat your home during the winter. When you turn your oven off, be sure to leave it slightly cracked. This will allow warmth to spread throughout your kitchen.
Want to learn more about meal planning? Start here by ready this article.
Rearrange Your Furniture
A winter refresh in home decor can save you lots of money. No, we aren’t talking about adding in additional elements, just switching them up for a fresh savings look.
Rearrange your furniture to make sure that all of your vents and returns are clear and that warm air can come into the room. Sometimes we can accidentally block the flow of air vents. Rearrange the furniture in a room when it is not cold outside we forget. Double-check to make sure all vents are open in each room.
With a forced-air system, blocking a supply or return vent can cause a house-wide pressure imbalance that disrupts the heat flow in the entire system. Let’s keep the flow running smoothly.
Use Your Drapes and Blinds
Use your drapes and blinds on cloudy days and at night to help keep cold drafts out of your home. Having a good pair of insulating drapes will help to keep the heat inside. Just make sure that you open them during the day on sunny days to let the sun naturally warm your home.
Don’t Run the Bathroom Fan
Don’t turn the bathroom fan on when you are taking a hot shower or bath. Instead, when you are done with your shower, leave the bathroom door open. Allow that steamy warm air to spread throughout your house to help keep it warmer.
Plus, it will help increase the humidity in the air as heat is very drying.
Turn Down the Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures for different times of the day because you don’t need to keep your home at 68 degrees around the clock.
Turning down your thermostat while you are sleeping or away from home during the day can help you save considerably on your utility costs. You may want to consider installing a programmable thermostat. These are great and will automatically raise and lower the temperature of your home at certain times.
Purchasing a programmable thermostat will absolutely save you big bucks. The best part of all, you can typically install one yourself.
My family’s heating schedule (as an example):
When we go away for a few days, we drop the temperature to 60 degrees. And because we can control our thermostat via our smartphone, we adjust the temperature to kick on about an hour before we return home.
- 630 a.m. to 9 a.m. = 68 degrees
- 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. = 65 degrees (I work from home, but bundle up)
- 5:30 to 11 p.m. = 68 degrees
- 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. = 64 degrees
Now Let’s Keep Your Home Warm This Winter
These are just a few of the tips and tricks that you can use to help keep your home warm this winter. And the bonus is reducing your utility costs. Do you have any tips or tricks to share for keeping your home warm this winter?