The cold of winter is often a welcome change. It's a reminder of the holidays. It's a reminder of your favorite jacket or pair of snow boots that you get to put on again. But unfortunately, it's also a reminder of just how expensive it can be to stay warm.
Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to keep your home warm that don't involve major reconstruction and heavy costs. Even better, many of these tips don't involve purchasing anything at all. And the money you'll save just might warm your soul, too.
Block Drafty Doors
You know which ones we're talking about...those doors you walk past on cold days that give your feet a blast of cooler-than-requested air. Roll up a towel and stuff it at the base of the door to keep that cold air out. It seems simple, but it is an effective solution.
Use a Space Heater
There's no reason to turn up the furnace to heat up just the living room. Instead, turn on a space heater during those times when you're staying in one room—most likely in the same space on the couch. That space heater will keep your area nice and toasty, and your furnace gets to take a break and save you money.
Use Your Fireplace
Your fireplace serves more of a purpose than displaying your breakables on the mantle. If you don't use it very often, it's a good time to start. Purchased in bulk, firewood is a relatively inexpensive fuel source for heat. Depending on what kind of wood you buy, you can find a half-cord of wood for about a hundred bucks that'll last you all winter long. And if you have gas logs in your fireplace, it's still a cheaper way to cast a bunch of heat to keep you warm.
Or Sit Around the Fire
Whether you don't have an indoor fireplace or just want to enjoy the outdoors and still stay warm, a fire pit is the way to go. You can either dig a pit if you have proper clearance, or you can purchase a chiminea or outdoor fireplace. This way, you can still utilize your outdoor space, especially when you need it for those holiday parties.
Keep the "Formal" Rooms Closed
Remember that room you where grandma kept plastic on all of the couches growing up and no one was allowed to sit on the fancy furniture? Many homes have rooms that aren't used regularly (maybe not a Victorian plastic palace, but a dining room or guest room). Keep them closed off and shut the vents. That way, your heater isn't working to keep those so space warm when no one is around.
Reseal Doors and Windows
Over time, the weather stripping on your doors and windows wears to the point that it doesn't effectively block cold air from coming in. Replacing it is a fairly easy and inexpensive task that'll prevent your doors and windows from inviting the winter in.
Hang Winter Curtains
If you weren't aware, curtains do more than block out the sunlight and deter peeping Toms. They also act like a layer of insulation. Ever put your hand up to a window on one of the colder days and feel the winter "flowing" in? Some nice, thick curtains intended just for winter will prevent this at night.
Let the Sun In
Nothing provides a cheaper dose of warmth than our closest star. During the morning and afternoon hours, make sure to open your curtains and blinds to let the sunlight in so it can naturally warm your home.
And when you need to call in the pros, you can find heating and air professionals here.