It’s getting colder. Summer is officially over and it’s time to turn up the heater, break out the Snuggies and settle in for a long winter of freeze-your-tits-off days (that is the official meteorological term) and even colder nights. But there are things you can do to help keep your home toasty and warm without breaking the bank.
1. First check for leaks and drafts. There isn’t much point in stealth heating if you are just going to let said heat get sucked outside. So check your windows and doors for any drafts, as well as the outlets in the walls and along the baseboards. You can even do an energy audit here: http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/do-it-yourself-home-energy-audits . It’s just as much fun as a real audit from the IRS (or CRA for my fellow Canadians), but if it helps you save money, do it any way. Make sure that you seal the leaks and drafts and then we are in business!
2. Invest in curtains and floor coverings. Keeping the curtains drawn, especially in the evening, helps prevent loss of heat in the home. As well, floor coverings over hard flooring (rugs, carpets, dirty laundry…) helps to keep your feet warm and retain heat in the home.
3. Use your oven. There’s a reason that I make a lot of braises, stews, soups and casseroles during the fall and winter and less in the summer. Not only do I crave hearty meals, but using the oven to cook something low and slow also heats up the whole house, as well as making it seem cozier with the aromas and sense of smug satisfaction in killing two birds with one stone. Dinner and warmth! Suck it, birds!
4. Wear layers and use layers for bedclothes. This seems obvious, but you tend to stay warmer if you have a bunch of thin layers as opposed to one thicker covering. This is why people wear long johns. Oh, I know, they are also so sexy that you might become the talk of the neighbourhood if you slip out quickly in them to get the paper, but there is a reason for the layers. The heat is trapped between each of the layers, and you stay toasty for longer. And sexy.
5. Close the damn doors! Were you raised in a barn? Didn’t think so. Close the doors inside the home, as well, to trap the heat in the rooms you are in. You don’t want all that toastiness you just created to drift into a room that you may not be inhabiting for a while (basement, guest room, dungeon while the gimp is out running errands, etc).
Any-hoo, with these tips, you can probably turn the thermostat down a little bit and keep a little more money in the bank/your wallet/under your mattress where it belongs!