What’s better than a warm and cozy home in the coldest season? Well, a lower utility bill would be nice, but it’s tough to take off the chill without paying for it. Here are a few suggestions for keeping you and your home warm without breaking the bank.
1. Turn down the thermostat when you go to bed or are away from home. No need to heat your entire home for 8 hours. Even a few degrees can make a difference on your bill. A great way to stay warm when you turn in is with the Queen or King Dream Blanket, made with NASA technology that keeps you warm with insulating comfort.
2. Purchase a programmable thermostat. It will automatically turn down the temperature when you go to bed and when you leave for the day, and turn it up in the morning when you get ready for work and before you arrive home. You can even buy thermostats that give you remote access via your smartphone or computer.
3. Block drafty windows. Short of installing expensive new windows, hang Insulated Curtains to prevent chilly drafts from spreading through the room and making your furnace work harder. Ours come in decorator colors and are ready to hang. They even come in Lace, Sheer and Weathershield.
4. Use a space heater. There are many types available—oil-filled radiator style, infrared and ceramic towers, convection heaters, fan heaters…but none of them can beat this Fireplace Heater for both warmth and ambience. It has two heat settings, plus faux flames that add a cozy feel to the room (although you can use it in heat-only mode). And its compact size won’t crowd the room.
5. If you have a ceiling fan, run it in reverse. This will recirculate hot air that rises to the ceiling back down to the floor.
6. Use door sweeps or guards to keep out drafts. Here’s one of the easiest and least expensive fixes to prevent cold air from seeping into your home at the base of the door. (It also keeps out dust and bugs!) You’ll find a variety of door sweeps at your local hardware store. Or use our Rolling Draft Guard. Unlike guards you simply lay at the foot of door and have to move every time you open it, this one slips into brackets attached to the door, so you never have to move it. And because it stays in place, it blocks drafts 24/7, even when you leave for work or errands. It even self-adjusts as it rolls over rugs and mats.
7. Have a home energy audit. Many communities and utility companies sponsor audits (sometimes at no cost) that assess your energy usage. Specialists conduct spot checks to find air leakage and other problem areas, then make recommendations on how to make your home more energy efficient. They also can provide information on any rebates you may qualify for when installing insulation, programmable thermostats and other measures. Check with your electric or gas company for more information on having an audit conducted in your home.
8. Bundle up! Yes, slipping on a sweatshirt or sweater will keep you warmer when you notch down the thermostat. If your teeth are chattering, you may have gone too far. Find a happy medium that everyone in the family can live with.
9. Don’t block the register. Besides keeping warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators clean, make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, curtains, boxes or any other obstructions that can reduce warm airflow in the room.
10. Visit energy.gov (the official site of the U.S. Department of Energy) to discover all kinds of energy-saving ways you can make your home comfortable, without the high price tag.