While a warm, cozy home in the winter is ideal, oftentimes the increase of a few degrees on the thermostat can cripple your bank account. Thankfully, there are more than a few “lifehacks” to increase the heat in your home and reduce drafts this winter. Take the time now to see which of these you can do in your home, all without raising your heating bill.
Caulk window frames
A few dollars now and a few minutes later, your biggest draft issues could be sealed off for another year. Caulk can also be applied around door frames, if needed.
Open the curtains to let in the sun.
Much like a glass greenhouse, letting sunlight in through the windows can raise the temperature in your home. Just make sure to close the curtains again as soon as the sun dips below the horizon to reduce loss of that hard-won warmth. You can also use heavy thermal curtains to retain more warmth and reduce heat loss.
Place plush area rugs on hard floors.
Plush rugs are more than a interior decorating statement; they act like an insulator, keeping warmth from seeping through your flooring and preventing cooler air from creeping into your home. Think of them like blankets for your floors.
Shower with the bathroom door open – when possible.
While you may not be comfortable showering “in the open” with others in your home, it might be worth it when you can to leave the bathroom door open when you take a shower or a bath. The warm, steamy air can help warm your adjoining rooms and hallways.
Bring in the steam
In the same vein, using a humidifier will increase the warmth of your home; moist air carries and holds heat better than dry air. If you don’t believe me, just move to Louisiana this summer! This hack can also prevent nosebleeds and reduce dry skin.
Add more insulation
Especially for older homes, adding more insulation to the attic and walls can certainly increase your warmth retention and reduce energy bills. It is a hefty price tag to consider, but worth it in the long run.
Bring in the hot water bottle
Retro it may be, but adding some moist heat to the foot of your bed will keep your feet warm most of the night. And it really does not cost much of anything; a few minutes boiling water before bed is a small price to pay for toasty toes tonight, right?
Leave the oven open after baking.
Make sure you’ve turned the oven off, and keep kids and pets away from the area, but letting the residual heat dissipate into your home is an easy way to increase the warmth in your home without sacrificing needed cash.
Put a draftstopper under external doors
You could buy one of these tube-shaped devices, or you could DIY this hack with a towel and some bungee cords. The main thing is to place it under a door that is not used often, or to put the draftstopper back in place anytime the door is opened and closed.
Insulate your windows with bubble wrap
Maybe not the most attractive option; but bubble wrap on your windows can cut heat loss in half, according to some studies.
Close off unused rooms
Especially if your home is large, consider fake downsizing this winter. Empty guest rooms, large closets, and other infrequent-use areas can be closed off and sealed with a draftstopper to save energy.
Reverse ceiling fan direction
Ceiling fans rotate counter-clockwise to push air down; this creates a drafty, cooler feeling. Reversing the direction will pull cooler air from lower in the room upward; this cooler air will mix with the rising warm air, and then funnel back down into the room.
Pile on the blankets
Flannel sheets and a thick comforter or quilt can keep your warmer at night; this means you could potentially lower your thermostat overnight by a few degrees to reduce heating bills.
Invest in a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can reduce your energy bill by up to 10% a year; even setting your home to be 7-10 degrees cooler whenever you’re away at work can make a difference.
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