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6 Ways to Save Money While Staying Warm This Winter

6 Ways to Save Money and Stay Warm This WinterIt was so nice to have a white Christmas for the first time in many years. However, along with snow comes cold temps. If your home isn’t properly winterized, that can mean big heating bills. Here are six ways to save money while staying warm this winter:

  1. Close the flue when not using your fireplace. Warm air from your home can escape from your fireplace when it isn’t in use. When not using it, close the flue and consider reducing how often you use the fireplace. If you can’t resist a roaring fire, install glass fireplace doors to keep the warm air inside.
  2. Reduce drafts by installing door sweeps on exterior doors to keep the cold air from seeping in. Also, keep interior doors to unused rooms closed, like the guest room that rarely gets used.
  3. Seal windows with plastic film. Companies like 3M make window film kits to help you seal your windows from the inside. They are inexpensive and easy to install and could help cut your heating cuts this winter.
  4. Window treatments like wood blinds and insulated curtains can make a big difference in keeping the cold air out. Just remember to open them during the day to let the sunlight warm your home naturally.
  5. Install a programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat on a lower temperature when you’re away from home or asleep at night, saving those toasty warm temps for when your family is home and active.
  6. Keep heating ducts, vents and registers free from obstacles. To make sure forced air can circulate properly throughout each room, make sure heating ducts, vents and registers are not blocked by furniture. Not only will this keep your home warmer, but it can prevent a possible fire.

10 DIY Tips to Keep Your Home Toasty Warm This Winter

Fall ended a bit early for us this year, and winter weather is already at our door. That means cold nights, and higher heating bills. Here are 10 tips for keeping your home toasty warm this winter without driving up your heating bill.

  1. 10 DIY Tips to Keep Your Home Toasty Warm This WinterChange your furnace filter. During the heating season, it is a good idea to change your furnace filters monthly, or try washable filters and clean them as recommended by the manufacturer. This simple, affordable fix can keep you more comfortable while also saving energy.
  2. Reverse the direction on ceiling fans. By switching the setting on your ceiling fan to clockwise, your fan can push warmer air toward the floor. This is particularly helpful if you have high ceilings.
  3. Lower your thermostat. For every one degree you lower the temperature, you can save approximately 3 percent on your heating bill. Also, use a programmable thermostat, so you can lower the temperature even further when you are sleeping and away from home. Set it up to warm up your home before you are scheduled to return for the evening.
  4. Lower your hot water temperature. Adjust your hot water heater from the standard 140 degrees to 120 degrees and consider taking showers, not baths. Showers use much less water.
  5. Seal air leaks. By controlling the amount of outside air that comes into your home, you can help control moisture and keep your home warm in the winter. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows, use foam sealant on larger window and baseboard gaps, and keep the fireplace flue damper closed when you’re not using the fireplace. Click here for more air leakage tips from Energy.gov.
  6. Install door sweeps. To prevent cold air from entering your home from underneath doors, make sure that each door and threshold are adequate. If not, install a door sweep along the bottom of the door.
  7. Take advantage of the sun. When the sun is shining during the day, open drapes and blinds to soak up as much of that natural energy as you can.
  8. Keep heating vents clear. Sometimes furniture is inadvertently placed in front of heating vents, preventing warm air from warming a room. Move furniture away from vents so it can circulate properly around the room.
  9. Use space heaters where appropriate. For small spaces, sometimes a space heater can help heat the room. Be careful though. Space heaters can be fire hazards, so choose the make and model carefully and make sure it is always attended. Check the energy consumption of the heater you select too. Sometimes they use more energy than you might expect.
  10. Use window insulation film. Using a pre-packaged kit, put plastic shrink film on the inside of your windows to keep the cold out and the heat in!

Sources:

This Old House, https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/keeping-warm-less
Energy.gov, http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/air-sealing-your-home
The Art of Manliness, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/11/14/how-to-keep-your-house-warm-in-the-winter/
Apartment Therapy, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/5-ways-to-insulate-your-windows-for-winter-37643