Winter is just around the bend with its blustery winds and swirling snows. There’s a lot to enjoy about winter. Snuggling on the couch with a blanket, flying down a hill on a sled, and celebrating the holidays with family and friends all make winter a magical season. Less magical is the sudden spike in heating costs that you’ll almost certainly experience. To help with that, here is a list of ways to lower your heating costs this winter.
There’s no good way to prevent turning the heat up when winter comes, and even if you follow every trick on this list, you’ll still have to turn the heating on some. After all, you don’t want your pipes to freeze and burst. By being aware of the energy you’re expending, however, and taking care to winterize your home, you can lower costs, saving money for more fun things than oil.
Use a programmable thermostat
There is an natural ebb and flow to your home heating needs. At night you may want it a bit cooler so that you can snuggle beneath blankets, while first thing in the morning you’ll want it warm enough that you don’t dread climbing out of bed. When you’re at work, it can be cool again as you’re not there to endure the discomfort, but you want it warm by the time you come home.
A programmable thermostat can be the trick you need to ensure the heat is at the temperature you want when you want it. Programmable thermostats, like the one listed on Thermostat Center, are great because you can teach them your routine. Consider your heating needs once, and the thermostat center will do the rest, anticipating your needs and adjusting the temperature throughout the day.
Bundling up isn’t just for going outside. Throughout the winter you’ll want to dress weather appropriate. If you tend to walk around the house in shorts and a tank top, you’ll end up turning your heat up to compensate. Instead, become used to wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt as your winter hanging-out apparel. Keep blankets near the couch so that you can cuddle up under them while watching TV. Don’t forget to wear slippers or socks since heat can easily be lost through the feet. Bundling up when you’re home can ensure that your house doesn’t need to be quite as warm to be comfortable.
Put thermal plastic on your windows
Thermal plastic works by creating an extra barrier between your home and the cold, especially around windows where it’s easy for wind to sneak in. This not only stops the cold from getting in, but it stops the heat from getting out, which increases its efficacy throughout the colder months. Although you don’t want to leave thermal plastic in your windows year round as it makes it hard to open your windows, during the winter when your main goal is to keep the house warm, it’s an easy tool.
Ensure your home is insulated
Insulation provides a barrier between your home and the outside world. Although it can cost a bit of money to better insulate your home at the outset, in the long-term insulation can ensure lower costs of oil and better protection from the weather. Important places to concentrate your efforts include the basement, where insulation can also decrease moisture, and the attic, which is often neglected, especially in older homes. You can also insulate your pipes, which reduces the chances of them freezing and can allow you to keep your home slightly cooler.
Put a barrier between the bottom of your door and the outside
Heat can easily be lost in the tiny gap around your door. Laying a barrier down, such as a towel, a blanket, or a more official door draft stopper, can reduce this loss of heat. If you’re not sure how much heat is being lost beneath your door, try crouching and placing your fingertips in front of the crack beneath your door. Feeling a draft is a sure-fire bet that heat is being lost there.
Close off rooms you aren’t using
It’s natural to want to get the most out of your home and can feel counter-intuitive to keep parts of it closed off, but if you have a room that doesn’t get used very often, keeping the door closed and thermal wrapping around the door can prevent you from heating this unused space unnecessarily. This can be especially helpful in sunrooms or screened-in porches that your family only gets use out of in the warmer months.
Cutting down on fuel usage doesn’t just help pad your pocket. IT also cuts down on your overall carbon footprint, making your home and family less wasteful in general. As climate change becomes a thing of certainty, everyone must do his or her part to help the environment. These easy changes can help you do yours.