Last year I shared some simple ways you can winterize your house and save on your utility bills. Cold weather is here again so I’m revisiting those ideas, and sharing some new things my family is doing to stay warm without cranking up the heat.
Change the Furnace Filter
We change our furnace filter every three months which keeps the furnace running more efficiently because the air going through it is cleaner. Better efficiency = less expensive heating. This is a pretty easy bit of home maintenance and it’s important. You don’t want to have to replace your furnace!
Keep a spreadsheet or a piece of paper taped right to your furnace so you always know when you’re due for a change.
Reverse the Ceiling Fan
I’ll be honest here, we never use our ceiling fan in the wintertime. But we’re going to try it this year! Here’s how this works: Hot air rises to the ceiling, and you can actually drive that warmer air down to the ground by reversing the direction of your ceiling fans! Not only will you feel warmer in the room, but the thermostat that’s typically closer to the ground than the ceiling will detect the warmer air and not kick on the heat quite as much. Money-saver right there!
Look for a ‘reverse’ switch up near the top of your fan. You want it to run clockwise in the winter.
Let the Sun Shine In
This is an easy one! The winter sun can be bright and hot (when you’re not standing in a cold wind trying to soak it up). On those bright days, open the blinds and let some of that natural heat warm your house. When the sun goes down, move on to the next tip…
Hang Insulated Curtains
Not only can insulated curtains help keep the cold temperatures out, but they can help to block drafts too. I love the look of these curtains and they come in a bunch of different colors. TIP: They’ll serve double duty in the summertime to keep the heat out and block the sunshine from waking the kids up at the crack of dawn!
Drafts will come in through the windows and doors, so in addition to the insulated curtains I mentioned, there are a few easy things you can do to keep them out. First, caulk any cracks around your windows and doors. You can use weather stripping to seal up leaks, too.
If you have really cold windows (our daughter’s room is so cold for some reason), consider an inexpensive window insulation kit. Pull any window AC units out and close those windows up tight. And if you have drafts that come in under the door, these door sealer kits are handy. Don’t want to buy something? Roll up a towel or blanket for temporary use.
Make Energy Efficient Meals
Using smaller appliances to cook is a great way to save money on energy. Instead of heating up the oven, turn to your slow cooker for warm comfort food. The thing I love about my slow cooker is that we always have leftovers. That’s two nights worth of delicious dinners when I don’t have to turn the oven on. Yes, please!
Here are all of my favorite slow cooker recipes!
This one I dedicate to my Dad. “Put on a sweater if you’re cold, Lins!” It’s true what they say about turning into your parents. Every time my kids tell me they’re cold the first thing I do is tell them to put on some socks or slippers.
I find that if I keep my head and feet warm, the rest of me warms up too. But winter is a great time to cozy up with a good book, a hot cup of tea, your favorite movie, and a warm blanket. Layer up a bit and you’ll stay warmer, no bump of the thermostat needed!
7 Easy Ways to Stay Warm & Save
What tips would you add to stay warm this winter without cranking the heat?