How to Stay Warm When Things are Tight
If you’re looking at energy bill with disdain during the winter months and shivering at the same time, you’re probably wishing your home was warmer and your bill was lower. As energy prices rise, adjusting your thermostat comes with more impactful consequences. Fortunately there are other tricks to keep you warm during the winter outside of simply hiking up the heat.
This can be one of the most impactful changes you make. A programmable thermostat can make the most of your energy by keeping temperatures high during the evenings while you are home and cool during the night while you are tucked into bed, or during the day while you are off at work. Simply cycling your heat can work wonders for your electric bill while keeping you toasty warm when it matters.
Heavy Curtains and Natural Heat
Thick curtains can help prevent heat loss through windows. Swap out those thin panels and replace them with dark, heavy options. You can even opt for curtains with a thermal lining that helps retain heat. Curtains can be used anywhere that is drafty or cold, including in front of doors or to block off areas of the home that are not often used.
But wait! It’s also important to let natural heat in during the day. Move aside curtains during the day while the natural heat can permeate the home and them place curtains back once the sun goes down.
Turn on the Fans
This may seem counterintuitive, but it works! Ceiling fans do not actually cool air, they simply move it around and the breeze is what makes you feel cooler in the summer time. Check your ceiling fan for a switch—that switch will change the direction your fan rotates. Most likely, your fan is set to run in a counterclockwise direction. But if you set your fan to run clockwise, the fan blades work to push warm air that’s hanging out near the ceiling down toward your living space. Just run the fan on low so that you circulate warm air—running it higher than this could create a chilly breeze effect.
Bake Away the Cold
Using your oven can keep your home warm. Move socializing into the kitchen and bake away the colder days near the warmth of the oven. Warm food and a warm room can work wonders for keeping the family toasty warm on those chilly nights.
Cover Up Floorboards
Wooden floors can spell trouble for preventing heat loss. Add runners, carpets, and rugs to floors to help feet stay warm and keep heat from leaching into poorly insulated floors. And it keeps those toes warm and snuggly while you walk throughout the home, too.
Close Doors to Unused Rooms
One of the best tricks to keep the home warm without breaking the bank is to section off areas that you don’t use often. Laundry rooms, guest bedrooms, and the like can be closed to help you retain the most heat in the common living areas. If you have multiple thermostats in the home, consider lowering those in the far reaches of the house. This not only helps the active parts of the home stay consistently warm, but it decreases the energy needed to heat the whole home.
The most important part of staying warm during the colder months is taking steps to keep your body warm. That means snuggling up, putting on warm clothes, putting heavy blankets on the bed, and keeping throws handy. Just making a few changes such as adding flannel sheets, donning cozy pajamas, and brewing some warm tea can make as much difference as cranking that thermostat. So before you reach for that dial, reach for those fuzzy slippers first. Your springtime budget will thank you!
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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