With the winter months slowly creeping up on us, it’s time to say hello to colder temperatures outside and face the not so friendly realities of the higher temperatures needed inside. As painful as that first heating bill can be, there are a few things homeowners can do to ease the sting just a bit!
Keep the fireplace damper closed
As nice as it is, to cozy up in front of the fire during the winter months, it is important to remember that when the fireplace isn’t being used, that chimney is a big source of cold air into the house. Be sure to keep the fireplace damper closed when it’s not in use.
Turn your thermostat down, when no one is home at night, or if your home is full of people- people create heat
As much as we like to keep the thermostat at a nice standard temperature when the outside gets chilly, sometimes it is okay to turn it down a few notches. If you leave the house for a night out with friends, or even a weekend trip-turn the thermostat down before you go. This will bring the temperature down in the house, but with no one home, why not? Or on the other hand, maybe you’re having the fun come to you by throwing a party of your own? Do not assume that you have to turn the thermostat up to make the guests comfortable, rather turn it down a bit once they arrive. People create heat, so keep everyone from getting too warm – and save a little too!
Keep the curtains open during the day, and closed at night
Sometimes we forget how beneficial the outside can be, when we escape into our homes for the winter months. However, the windows can have a big effect on how our house maintains its temperature. Keep the curtains open during the day, in order to allow that sun to shine in and provide some natural heat to the home. Then at night, close them up to try and keep any drafts from the windows under control.
If your thermostat is turned down 10 °F while at work and at night (16 hours) then you can save 14% on your heating bill.
Although this trick may seem a little crazy, and certainly not practical for every household, it does lead to some pretty significant savings. For those who are able to let that thermostat drop while the house is empty during the day, and then pile on the blankets at night, it may very well be worth the 14% savings on the monthly heating bill.
Watch out for leaks- small gaps between doors or windows add up and create insulation problems. Well-made and newer homes prevent this.
Although it may be hard to seal up every nook and cranny (especially those that come with the charm of older homes), insulation strips can be purchased to try and minimize the warm air leaks. You certainly do not want your heat kicking on, to have half of it go to waste.
Turn the water heater down to about 120 °F
The hot water heater is a source of heat that we sometimes tend to overlook. If we turn the set temperature down to about 120°F, then you can still maintain some very hot water for all household needs, while keeping the amount of heat used in reason.
Learn to LOVE socks – keeps the warmth in your body
As silly as this sounds, socks are a great go-to, to keep the most body warmth in you as possible! Not to mention, non-carpeted floors can get pretty chilly with or without a heated home.
So as the cold winter months’ creep up closer and closer, remember these tips as the key to a warm and cozy, yet affordable, season in your home!