Winter is coming, and you know what that means! Holiday cheer, festive gatherings and, unfortunately, higher utility bills. The colder season makes us all crank up the heat in our homes and apartments. But with the need to buy holiday gifts (and the want to go out and celebrate the season), this isn’t a great time of year to find your bills climbing. That’s why we’ve gathered seven ways to keep your home warm this winter that don’t include adjusting your thermostat, won’t cost a fortune and take just five minutes or less to implement.
You’ve got options beyond spiking your energy bill, sweating your home’s insulation or layering on sweater after sweater. With these tips, you can keep your home cozy and comfortable all winter long.
Draw the drapes
Did you know you have a heat source you can tap into throughout the day that’s completely free? It’s the sun! During daylight hours, pull all of your window coverings open so that big radiant heat source can do its thing. Then, as the sun sets, draw everything closed. This serves two purposes. The extra layer of insulation over you’re homes glass – which can transfer heat and cold too easily – keeps the chilly evening temps outside while trapping the day’s warmth inside. The thicker your curtains, the bigger difference they’ll make during the cold months.
Don’t let heat vanish through vents
When you run your vents, you open your home’s interior up to the cold, dry air outside. If you’re in the habit of leaving your bathroom vents open after your shower, change it up during the colder months to keep your home warm. Once you’re done in the bathroom, switch them off and leave the bathroom door open instead. The warm, damp air will help your house stay comfortable – and can give you some reprieve from the dryness of winter.
Flip your fans
Did you know that the direction ceiling fans rotate affects their performance? In the summer, you want the blades moving forward to push cool air into the room. In the winter, however, you want to reverse the direction of your fans (there should be a little switch on the side). Swapping the fan direction helps your fans take the warm air that accumulates at your ceiling and distribute it through the room.
Rearrange around your radiator
If you have a radiator, keep the area around it clear. If, for example, you have a couch sitting right in front of it, that couch will absorb the bulk of the heat it puts out. Opening up the area around your radiator helps the heat distribute throughout your house.
Similarly, check the areas around all of your vents. Furniture on top of floor vents isn’t doing you any favors when you’re trying to get warm air into your home this winter.
Open your oven
During the holiday season, you’ll probably be doing some baking. That sheet of cookies won’t just warm your families’ hearts; it can also keep your home warm during the chilly season. After you’ve finished baking and turned off your oven, leave the door cracked. The hot air will seep out and keep your kitchen warm and toasty.
Close up for coziness
If you have a guest room, study or den that sits relatively unused, why waste your money trying to heat it? Keep the doors to any unoccupied rooms closed. This makes it easier for your home or apartment’s heating system to circulate the warm air through the areas that are being used, helping you keep your utility bills lower without compromising your comfort this winter.
Roll out a rug
If you want your home to feel cozy, cold feet aren’t going to do you any favors. Wherever you have large spaces of exposed, non-carpeted flooring, consider adding a rug this winter. Your floors can actually account for as much as ten percent of your home’s heat loss. Throwing down a run provides an extra layer of insulation that can help your home feel warmer and prevent bare floors from absorbing heat that they’ll quickly lose. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get a living room rug that will transform your space.
These seven tips can help you keep your home warm keep your utility bills stable even as the weather gets colder. In addition to these tips it’s always a smart idea to have your hvac system and furnace checked to make sure your system is operating at its top condition. Do you have any other tips for keeping your home heated during the winter?
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