Well, winter may not be here quite yet, but it’s coming. Eventually.
While we’re stuck in an unseasonably warm weather pattern, it might be a great time to discuss ways that you can stay warm this winter while still saving money on energy costs. It can be tempting to just crank that thermostat up to the highest setting, but doing that can cost some serious cash. So let’s look at some ways you can cut costs while still staying toasty warm when winter finally shows up.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
This is the number one way you can save money this winter. A programmable thermostat lets you maintain a comfortable temperature in your house during peak hours, while dropping the temperature automatically at night and during the workday when you’re not at home. There is an initial investment to have a programmable thermostat installed, but the savings over the winter season will make this addition to your home absolutely worth it.
Deal With Those Drafts
Be sure to check those windows and doors this winter – they’re major culprits when it comes to letting warm air escape your home. One way to check for drafts is to use an incense stick – if you can see the smoke move suddenly, then you know you have a draft. Fixing the problem may be as easy as adding a little caulk, or could be as involved as installing new energy-efficient windows – it’s all about what your home improvement budget looks like.
Time For Clockwise Rotation
Most of us in the South have ceiling fans to keep that humid air moving. When winter rolls around, it’s time to switch the direction in which your fan turns. A clockwise rotation will naturally pull rising warm air down to floor level, keeping you a little more cozy.
Check Your Attic
Before the really cold air settles in, you should check your attic for holes, drafts, and insulation. If your attic isn’t insulated, you may want to consider this project as a way to save on your heating costs. If you find holes and drafts, definitely get those fixed as another way to keep warm air in your home.
Work Those Windows
If it’s a bright, sunny day outside, be sure to you that natural light in your favor and open those blinds or curtains. The sunlight streaming through the windows will naturally warm the room, cutting down the heating requirements for the whole house. And at night, close those blinds or curtains to keep cold air contained.
Throw On a Sweater
Not directly related to an HVAC solution, but it is a great way to stay toasty warm and cut down on heating costs. A cardigan or sweater, especially one made of wool, alpaca, or cashmere (luxurious!) will keep you extra warm, allowing you to drop the temperature on your thermostat.
Time to Bake, or Make a Nice Cup of Tea
Another great way to keep the house warm? Baking! Winter is a great time to work on your baking skills, because the heat from your oven will help in heating the air in your house. Even doing something as simple as making some hot chocolate or tea will help to heat the air (and also release some water, increasing the overall humidity in your home).
Get Cuddly With Down Comforters & Flannel Sheets
A time-honored winter tradition, the unpacking of down comforters and flannel sheets! When the air outside starts to get a little brisk, flannel sheets can make all the difference for a warm night’s sleep. And if you need a little extra warmth, a down comforter will definitely do the trick. Comforters can be purchased in a range of insulation weights, so you can find just the right one for your temperature preferences.