We had a long, brutal summer in Kansas. Even now that the daytime temperatures are bearable and the mornings are downright chilly, it’s still hard to believe winter will ever arrive. I’m mentally ready for it, that’s for sure. Hot flashes and hot summer days are NOT a fun mix. But my budget is dreading the high cost of staying warm this winter. Fortunately, I found five tips to keep winter heating costs down this year, and I plan on implementing them all.
1. Turn down the thermostat. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you’ll save around $15 this season. As someone who finds herself fanning her face even when it’s cloudy and 70F, that’s great news to me! I plan on programming our thermostat to the mid-60s during the daytime, and low-60s at night, and telling everyone else to bundle up if they’re cold.
2. Keep the drafts out. Over time, weather-stripping wears down, so even if you’ve replaced yours in previous years it’s still a good idea to check for a tight seal. To do so, close your door and light a candle on a breezy day, then (carefully) move the candle around the edges of your door. If the flame flickers, it’s time for new weather-stripping. Try the same trick to find out if your windows are letting in cold air. If so, those shrink-to-fit plastic films work wonderfully and are easy to both install and remove.
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3. Take advantage of sunlight. Open curtains on the sunny side of your house during the day, and close them the instant the sun’s no longer shining directly into them. The passive solar heating will warm up your house, and closing the curtains will keep that heat in.
4. Reverse your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans come with a switch that changes the direction the fan spins. Switch yours so the blades spin in a clockwise direction and you’ll bring the warm air (which rises) down from the ceiling where it can take off some chill.
5. Keep your filters clean. No matter the age of your heating system, it’ll work overtime trying to force hot air through a dirty filter. All that extra work translates to extra money out of your pocket. Keep your filters clean by changing them monthly (or washing them, if they’re reusable) to keep the warm air flowing freely through your house.
What other tricks do you have to stay warm all winter without breaking the bank? Share in the comments!