How to save money and still keep warm this winter
Well boys and girls... it's here. Those leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping. And although it creates a beautiful backdrop for wonderful memories, it also creates higher heating bills.
While some options might be to install new windows or just crank the heat up to 80, not all of us have the means to do so. Lucky for you, I have searched all over the Google and have found some tips and tricks to help you out.
1. Make sure your windows are closed. I say this because I have been guilty of not doing this. Sure, I know that the bottom sash is closed but what about the top sash? I once found a 2-inch gap on the top sash because I simply forgot to make sure it was closed. Once I did close it, I no longer wondered why it was so cold in my bathroom and was thrilled to actually be able to shower comfortably. Also make sure the storm windows are shut as well. You might think it wouldn't make a difference, but it does!
2. If you are a current resident of Louisville, LG&E has quite a few energy efficient programs that you are able to take part in. Most of them are free and can give you suggestions right away.
3. Make sure you know how drafty your windows are. Hold up a flame a few inches from each of your windows on a windy day. If the flame goes out, that's a sure sign you have air leaking in and you will want to fix that ASAP! Weather stripping is fairly simple to do yourself and in most cases, not expensive. You can also try window insulation kits.
4. Something that has really helped me in lowering my costs has been installing a programmable thermostat. Again, fairly inexpensive and relatively easy to install yourself. I hate getting out of bed in general but when it's cold, it's almost impossible. I have set the thermostat to kick the heat up 15 minutes before I am to get out of bed. I also have it programmed to lower the temperature when I leave for work and then to raise it so it's nice and toasty for when I get home. The convenience factor alone has made it worth it.
5. If you haven't already done so, door draft guards are a must! I made my own and not only are they very helpful, mine are quite stylish.
6. If you have a two-story house, blocking off stairwells can be a major game changer. This is something that my mom has been doing for years. She simply took a tension rod, placed it at the top of the landing and threw a sheet over it. Viola! It blocked the heat from coming up the stairs during the day and you more than likely already have everything needed for this project!
7. Layer up! Cuddle up! Although I am not a huge winter weather fan, I do like getting cozy in my warm pjs and snuggling up with my dog. She may be only 5 pounds but she is a fantastic snuggler. And, just between you and me, I have an entire drawer dedicated to fuzzy socks!
8. Invest in a humidifier. Hot, dry air dries out the throat and nose and makes them less effective against infection, which equals more colds and coughs. Plus humid air holds heat. Humid 80° seems warmer than 80° dry air. Similarly, 70° dry air seems cooler than 70° humid air.
9. If you have high ceilings with ceiling fans, check to see if you have a reverse switch on the fan. (During the summer the fan should run counter clockwise (as you look up at it). During the winter, clockwise at a low speed) This will help to keep the warm air from rising to the top of the room.
10. Be sure you are changing your furnace filters regularly. The recommended time frame is every 30-60 days. There are many factors to take into consideration so make sure you do your research.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in our comments. I am always up for trying something new!
In the meantime... let's just pretend we are here.