Cooler temperatures are rapidly approaching and if you, like me, have huddled down next to the heater in the evenings, simultaneously bemoaning and dreading the impending heat bills, you’re not alone. Here are 10 simple tips on how you can stay warm this winter, without spending a fortune.
- Insulate your house. Perhaps your house is older and in the middle of the winter, you notice lots of icicles hanging off your gutters. Your house is leaking heat and therefore, you’re wasting money. Spend the time before the winter really starts by properly insulating your house and especially around your windows. This may be as simple as caulking around the windows, but it can make a lot of difference, and save you money in the long run.
- Buy a heat pump. Not only will it work during the summer to keep you cool, but it will reverse during the winter to help you stay warm. They’re efficient and economizing, and use less energy than regular heaters.
- Reverse fan direction. During the summer you want your fan to be pushing air down so the circulation is increased. But in the winter, you want the cold air pulled up and the warmer air pushed down. Consult your owners manual to make sure you have the fan settings right.
- Hot water bottle. This is a favorite trick of mine. Hot water bottles are cheap, long lasting, and retain heat for hours. You could cozy up with one on the couch while another one is heating the foot of your bed. Buy good quality bottles and accessorize them with padded exteriors that help retain the warmth and prevent you from burning yourself if the water is extra hot.
- Embrace the sunshine. Don’t keep your blinds pulled during the winter. Let the sun shine in and use the natural warmth to help heat your house. It can make such a difference and that combined with better insulation allows your house to warm up and stay warm through the day.
- Drink hot beverages. During the warm summer months, you probably swap your coffee for an iced one, but as the temperatures cool, you probably will want to swap back to a hot cup. Coffee, tea, and cocoa all are warming drinks that aren’t very expensive, especially if you make them yourself, and can help you stay warm during the cool winter months.
- Bundle up. Break out those woolen sweaters and socks because bundling up is one of the best ways to stay warm during the winter months. If you’re looking to invest in a warmer wardrobe, buy natural fabrics, such as wool or cotton, that last longer than man-made ones and will naturally biodegrade once they’re no longer wearable. Wool especially is fantastic in the winter because it helps regulate the body temperature. Furthermore, wool fibers last longer than cotton and can be bent hundreds of times more before they wear out. There is a reason our ancestors wore wool, and we should too.
- Invest in a wood stove. Using a woodstove can be an investment, or it can be a much cheaper and more efficient way to heat your house, depending on your circumstances. If you live in an area where wood is cheap and you don’t mind the extra work, using a wood stove as supplemental heating can be a great way to save money on conventional modes of heating.
- Open your oven. Are you a baker or do you use your oven often? If so, once you’re done cooking, crack it open so the excess heat leaks out and helps warm up your house. It will help keep your kitchen toasty warm and comfortable and help save money. With this in mind, bake away!
- Turn up your heat in the morning. Keeping your house between 60*-67 at night is recommended anyhow for optimal sleep. If you keep your house cool but not chilly, you’ll be cool in the morning, so turn the heat on then and warm up your house during the day. At night, the temperature will cool down again but since your house will be set at a cooler temperature, it will cost you less overall. Essentially, you’re only using your heaters when you’re up and around there house needing it.
In conclusion, there are lots of ways you can save money this winter by preparing ahead of time to save money on your heating. Of course, this list does not take into account a heater that is maybe broken or not working properly. If that describes your heater, definitely have it fixed before the chill of winter sets in so you stay warm and comfortable all winter long.
Guest Contributor: Allie Shivers