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The average American family spends over $2,200 on their energy bill every year. And nearly half of that number comes from heating and cooling costs.
Because of this, trying to stay warm during the winter can be an expensive endeavor.
But it doesn’t have to be.
We’ve put together a quick list of eight inexpensive ways you can keep your house warm during the cold months.
So let’s dive in!
8 Inexpensive Ways to Keep Your Home Warm
Only Run the Heater When You Need It
You should only have your heater running when you really need it. Otherwise, you’re wasting heat and throwing away money.
And do your best to keep the thermostat at as low as a temperature as possible.
For example, during times of the day when you’re in the home, you should keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the thermostat back about 10 degrees anytime you leave the home or when you go to bed. This can help you save up to 10% on your energy bill at the end of the year.
If you don’t want to wake up to a cold home, you can also install a programmable thermostat. Use it to raise the temperature back to 68 degrees 30 minutes before you wake up.
Don’t Block the Radiator
If your home has a radiator—or if you use portable heaters, make sure they aren’t blocked by furniture, clothing, or other items.
It might feel nice to push the couch in front of the radiator, but you’re preventing the heat from spreading to the rest of the room. Clearing furniture and other items away from your radiator or portable heaters will help you warm up the room faster and keep it at a more comfortable temperature.
You should also keep the doors closed on rooms you aren’t using. There’s no point in wasting heat in those spaces if no one’s using them.
Keeping all the heat confined to the room/rooms you’re using will help you save money and stay warm.
Hang Curtains Over Your Windows
You can lose hundreds of dollars in heating costs through your windows every year if they aren’t properly insulated. And your window treatments play a big part in this.
Keep your blinds, shades, curtains, or drapes drawn when it’s cold outside. This will help prevent the warm, interior air from leaking out through your windows. It will also help prevent cold air and drafts from getting inside (you can read more here about preventing drafts).
If the sun comes out, open the curtains, especially for south-facing windows. The sunlight that gets inside your home will help heat it up.
Worried about letting the cold air in with the sun?
Try hanging clear shower curtains over your windows. This will block the cold air from getting inside while allowing the warm sunlight to heat your home.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Your ceiling fan has two different settings.
When the fan is spinning counter-clockwise, it pulls the warm air up and circulates the cool air back down. But you can set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise. This will push the warm air back down instead, which will help keep the room heated.
Make sure you reverse your ceiling fans when it starts getting cold outside. This can help you lower your energy bill and save some money on heating costs.
Put Rugs on the Floor
An uninsulated floor can cause a few problems when it comes to warmth.
One of those problems is heat loss. An uninsulated floor can act as an open door when it comes to warm air. In fact, ground-floor insulation can reduce 92% of floor heat loss.
That means all your heat is escaping through your floor if it isn’t insulated.
But uninsulated floors can also feel cold to the touch. When you get out of bed in the morning, your toes will have to deal with the ice cold floor.
One of the best ways to deal with cold floors is to lay out some area rugs. These will also help insulate your floor and prevent heat loss.
Light a Fire
Fires can produce a lot of heat, even small ones. If you have a fireplace in your home, consider using it as often as you can.
When you have a fire blazing, you won’t have to plug in your wall heaters. You may even be able to lower the temperature on your central heating HVAC unit. This can help you lower your energy bill and save some extra money.
But if you aren’t using your fireplace, make sure you block the chimney with a fireplace plug.
Otherwise, the chimney will suck your warm air out of the house and replace it with cold drafts. Leaving a chimney open in the winter can make your heating bill go way up.
Do Some Cooking and Baking
Turning on your stove top and oven can pump a lot of warmth into your kitchen. Spend some time in the kitchen cooking warm foods or baking your favorite dessert.
When you’re done, leave the oven door open. This will let all the extra heat spread throughout the rest of the house while the oven cools down.
However, don’t leave the oven door open if you have children or pets. This can be a dangerous hazard.
Not sure what to cook?
Make things like soup or other warm foods that will help raise your body temperature. Even boiling a kettle of tea can keep you and the kitchen warm.
Cuddle with Blankets, Pillows, and Pets
One of the best ways to warm yourself up at home is to cuddle under thick blankets and pillows. You can also dress in warm, winter clothes. Remember, layering your clothing will help you heat up faster.
If you have pets, consider cuddling with them.
Cats, dogs, and more are like living heaters. Their body warmth will help you heat up and stay comfortable during the cold months.
Inexpensive Ways to Stay Warm During the Winter
Trying to stay warm during the winter and save money on your energy bill can feel like a challenge. But if you follow these inexpensive tips, you’ll be able to hear up your home without going into debt this year.
Worried your home isn’t prepared for next change in seasons?
Click here to learn what you need to do to get your home ready for spring showers.