It’s a constant struggle for homeowners to stay warm during the winter. They want to be comfortable around their homes, but they don’t want to pay the exorbitant costs of running the heater 24/7. Fortunately, there are a few steps everyone can take — whether they own or rent — to reduce their heating bills while staying warm this winter. Follow these three tips start winter on the right foot.
Choose Winter-Weather Curtains
Image via Flickr by Jorbasa
Your curtains need to serve two purposes during the winter. During the day, they need to be opened to let the sun in and naturally heat your home (as any cat lying in a sunbeam knows), and during the night, they need to keep heat in so that it doesn’t escape out of the windows. This means they need to be light enough to move but heavy enough to provide insulation.
Check your local home store for curtains if you think you need to replace them for the season. This is also a great opportunity to clean your curtains to remove dirt and dust that have collected on them during the past few months.
Put Down Area Rugs and Wear Socks
Feet are the trick to keep the body warm. Like our hands, they’re at the end of our limbs and have specialized blood vessels to offload heat and keep the body cool. This is why your whole body feels cold when your hands and feet are cold. By protecting your feet in the winter (with socks, blankets, and area rugs) you’re able to warm the rest of your body. This perception of warmth can reduce your need to turn on the heater, thus saving energy and money.
Of course, there are other benefits to placing thick area rugs around the house other than foot warmth. These pieces serve as insulation trapping the heat and keeping it inside. Plus, who wants to step out of bed in the morning onto freezing wood floors, anyway?
Call an HVAC Tech Before It Gets Cold
Most people wait until their HVAC system breaks to call a technician, which means they could spend thousands on repairs because of unit neglect. Calling your local HVAC maintenance team before it gets cold can prevent damage and ensure that your system is functioning properly.
HVAC systems can easily get clogged if they’re ignored for several months. You could be paying more to push more air through the filters if they’re not replaced, or end up running the heater if hot air is escaping through cracks in your air ducts. This means your heating bills will continue to rise, despite your best efforts to seal the house. By scheduling regular maintenance, you’re able to reduce your heating costs while still running your system.
Once you start taking advantage of these ways to stay warm, you will soon come up with more. For example, leaving the oven open after you cook will warm up the kitchen, while you get to enjoy a hot, home-cooked meal. Before you know it, the snow will be melting, and you will be reaching for fan once again.