Winter is a notoriously expensive season. From the extra clothes to car maintenance to your house, there are many areas of your life which become more expensive in the winter. There are things that you can do to make your house more efficient and keep those hikes in your electricity bill under control. Follow these tips to increase the efficiency of your house and keep it warmer in the winter.
Improve Your Insulation
Insulation is the best tool that we have for keeping our houses warm. You should check and see where you may be losing heat in your house to either add to or reinforce the insulation in those areas.
Get a Pro to Check
Schedule an energy audit and have a professional determine where your home might need insulation. Having it installed can save you significantly in the years to come.
Cover Your Front Door
Doors can let in the cold air easily. Most people realize that cold air can easily come in under your doors. Make sure you place a draft stopper along the bottom of the door to keep this from happening.
Consider the Door
In addition to cold air coming in along the floor, the entire door can actually be a problem because it is a poor insulator. You may also want to consider covering the entire door and surrounding wall with a door curtain. This will eliminate almost all of the heat loss that occurs at the door.
Rearrange Your Furniture
The first thing to do is make sure that your furniture isn't blocking the vents. Then you can work on the configuration of the room. Different places in your house will feel warmer than others. External walls will be colder than the internal walls. Try placing furniture next to internal walls so that you will feel warmer.
Consider Each Room
It's easier to rearrange living room furniture, but how about the furniture in your office and bedrooms? That can be harder to configure onto internal walls. Maybe you enjoy looking out the window while sitting at your desk and don't want to give that up. In that case, your legs probably get cold with your desk against an external wall. An easy solution to that is leaning a cardboard sheet against the wall. This will help block some of the cold air. In your bedroom, the head of your bed is most likely against an external wall. This can cause a stiff neck, which can be very unpleasant to wake up to. If you have the room, a four-poster bed is the best solution. If not, get a solid headboard to help block some of the cold and get you a little bit further from the wall. It's also a good idea to close the door to rooms that you're trying to keep warm. This will help trap some additional heat.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Instead of worrying about manually adjusting the thermostat multiple times, you can install a programmable one instead. If the house is empty during the day, this is especially helpful as it doesn't need to be as warm.
Control the Temperature to Save Energy
Try keeping the house at 68 degrees between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. as well as between 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. These are the times when most people are home. During the day from 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and at night, it's best to keep it around 60 degrees. This will save energy during the day and it's usually better to sleep in cooler temperatures at night.
Close the Curtains At Night
The sunlight will help warm the house, but at night the windows can get very cold and the heat will escape through them. You can also get insulated curtain to use specifically in the winter to help with this problem.
Open Curtains During the Day
While you might want to close the curtains at night, during daytime you can open them to let in the warmth and sunlight.
Use the Oven
For the same reason you don't like to use the oven in the summer, you should be using it in the winter. It will keep your house warmer while creating great meals or treats for your family.
Keep it Open
After cooking, leave the oven door open for awhile to let the heat into the house and make the kitchen area warmer.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Your ceiling fan may have a winter setting, which reverses it. This will push heat back down into the room. Use a lower setting to avoid cooling off the air too much.
Ceiling fans also keep a home cooler in the summer and eliminate odors by circulating the air. They are a useful investment all year round.
Use weather stripping to seal leaks on the sides of doors and on the windows. There are also other window treatments that you can buy to keep less heat from escaping.
Check the Windows
If windows are cracked or broken, they are letting in cold air. Make sure to repair or replace them as needed.
Put On More Clothes and Blankets
An easy way to keep warmer without turning up your thermostat is simply by working on keeping yourself, instead of your house, warmer.
Stay Internally Warm
You can do this by just putting on a robe, a hoodie, or wrapping yourself in a blanket. Sipping warm beverages will also help keep you warmer.
Use a combination of the tips above in order to keep yourself warmer this winter! Schedule a home energy audit to discover more easy ways to stay warm and reduce your energy use to lower your utility bills.
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