In your household during the winter, you may constantly battle over the thermostat with your family. While you want to make it nice and cozy in your home, you know that raising the temperature will drive up your heating bill exponentially.
If your house is chilly when it’s freezing outside, there are steps you can take to keep it warm, reduce your utility bill, and make sure your family is happy at the same time. Here are five things you can do to delay cranking up the heat this winter and save you a bundle.
Weatherproof your doors and windows
If you have cracks in your doors and windows, cold air will creep in, especially on those windy days and nights. Weatherproof your windows by putting bubble wrap and plastic film over them, as well as caulking up the cracks. If you have a bigger budget, storm windows are great for improving thermal insulation. Install them either on the outside or inside of your windows to keep your home warm.
For your doors, you can install new sweeps that will keep the draft out at the bottom. It’s best to buy strong wooden sweeps that you can paint to match your doors. Another option is to use sticky foam tape in the cracks and other places where the draft is coming in.
Get insulating blinds
You may not have considered changing your blinds for the winter, but the truth is, they can help ensure that the heat stays inside your home. Triple cell shades are the best bang for your buck because they provide the most insulation out of all the different types of cellular shades. They are heavier than other types of blinds and contain cell pockets that encapsulate the air around your windows. These air pockets give the shades their power to insulate.
Put up insulating drapes and curtains
Along with your blinds, you can hang up thick curtains and drapes that will keep your home cozy. Look for thermal or insulated drapes with layers of thick material and blackout lining. Just remember to keep your curtains clean, as dust can easily build up and promote allergens in your home. You can buy washable curtains that you can put in the washing machine, or choose to steam clean or dust them regularly instead (depending on the material).
Buy a portable heating unit
If you spend most of your time at home in one room, it can be more efficient to use a portable space heater to warm the space than to run central heating for the whole house. When purchasing a portable heater, look for ones that have great energy ratings and follow the highest safety measures. For example, they should automatically turn off if they get too hot or run on a timer, so you don’t waste energy.
Space heaters can become fire hazards, so use them safely. Make sure you unplug yours when you’re not using it, don’t let your pets or kids near it, and put it somewhere that people won’t be able to hit it or step on it accidentally.
Keep in mind that in the long-term, running space heaters instead of central heating gets expensive—you’ll notice the spike in your electricity bill. Switch on the heat when the temperatures really start to drop to save money.
Cover your fireplace
You may love to use your fireplace in the winter, but you need to keep it covered whenever it’s not on, or you could lose heat through the chimney. Put in a fireplace draft stopper and install doors on it to block the cold air. You can also buy a magnetic vent cover as a simple and inexpensive solution—most retail for less than $20.
Are you ready to winterize your home? With just a few steps, you can guarantee that your home will be warm this winter, and you won’t have to dole out the big bucks for your heating bill.