Beat The Bill: Staying Warm On A Budget
Sweatshirts and slippers are on, but still feeling the chill? It may not officially be winter yet, but we are definitely feeling the cold! Sure you can replace your windows, pay to insulate your home or even get your home heating system replaced. But for those of us who can’t afford to make costly upgrades, don’t fret! We have plenty of tips and tricks on how to keep your home cozy without using all of your holiday money.
Buying a programmable thermostat won’t break the bank and it can have a huge impact. Having more control by being able to set times for the heat to turn on and off is not only convenient but will save you money. If you aren’t able to program your thermostat, make show you lower the temperature every time you leave the house. If you are going away for the weekend, do not turn the heat off but instead set to 60 degrees. By using heavy comforters and blankets on your bed, keeping your heat at the same temperature as during the day probably isn’t necessary. Lower the thermostat before bed to cut down on unnecessary heating.
If you can see light through seam of your door, it’s time to weather strip. Seal up that extra space on all doors with weather stripping you can find at any Lowes, Home Depot, etc. If already installed check to make sure it isn’t too worn down. If so, it may be the time to replace it. Check for other areas like windows and mailbox slots to make sure heat isn’t being wasted.
Windows & Doors:
There are many tricks to lessen the cold that comes through older windows and doors. Leave shades open during the day to let the sun warm the room. Keep windows and doors locked for a tighter close letting less cold air in. Use plastic film and install thick drapes to drafty windows. Take a note from restaurants and use a tension rod and heavy curtain for your entry way.
Use exhaust fans only when absolutely necessary as they pull out the warm air. Lay down area rugs and make sure not to block air vents with furniture. If you have ceiling fans, set them to spin clockwise and keep on low – it will push the hot hair down. Space heaters have mixed reviews. While they offer a quick fix to a cold room, it will show on your electric bill. So if you do decide to purchase, use sparingly and safely. And lastly, change your filters regularly! This is crucial to the efficiency of your home heating system and more importantly, to your health and safety.