Winter is coming and that means higher energy bills.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating makes up 62% of energy use in your home. Considering that heating is only used a few months of the year, that’s a pretty hefty amount.
During the colder months, it’s difficult to keep your home warm enough. Cold drafts can come through windows and doors if they aren’t properly insulated and the floor can feel cold. If your home is consistently cold in the winter it can be uncomfortable. And for those who tend to get cold easily, it can also be frustrating.
It might feel like a constant battle choosing between bundling up inside or spending the extra money to be comfortable. And while heating your house throughout the winter isn’t something you can go completely without, there are ways you can reduce energy and cut costs in the process.
Whether your house uses electricity or gas in the winter, there are plenty of small changes you and your family can make to reduce the heating bill each month. And several of these tips teach you how to keep a house warm without insulation.
From rearranging furniture to programming your thermostat, we’ve put together a list of cold house solutions for your family so that you can stay warm and save a few bucks for that summer vacation.
1. Reduce Drafts From Windows and Doors
There are certain areas of your house that always feel colder than the rest of the house, especially around windows and doors. Even the tiniest gap below the door or from a poorly insulated window can let in cool air, causing the entire house to feel colder.
To keep your house warm on the inside, it’s important to know how to keep the cold out!
How to Insulate Doors
A quick fix to preventing air flow from a door is to put a towel at the bottom of the door. If you’re looking for a more permanent and subtle option, you can try an Under Door Draft Stopper.
How to Insulate Windows
Windows that don’t have proper insulation can cause many rooms to feel cooler, too. This is often the case in rooms we spend the most time in, like the living room.
To combat this, adding window draft stoppers like seal strip tape can keep your windows from letting in cold air.
2. Close Doors to Rooms You Don’t Use
If there are any rooms you don't need to use on a daily basis, or that you only go in once a day, shut the door. By keeping rooms closed off, the remainder of the house stays warmer.
Laundry rooms, guest rooms, or extra bathrooms are great examples of rooms you might be able to close off.
In those extra rooms, also close the vents so the heat can be redirected to other rooms.
3. Take Advantage of Heat from Sources You’re Already Using
If you’re baking in the kitchen, leave the oven open once you’re finished to let the heat warm up the kitchen.
The same goes for boiling water, or taking a hot bath or shower. Keep the bathroom door open after you shower to let the warm air flow to other parts of the house.
4. Let the Sun Heat the House During the Day
Sunlight is a natural heat source that can go a long way to keep your home warm in the wintertime. Keep your blinds up in the winter to allow the sun to naturally heat the house.
5. Close Curtains to Trap the Heat
To keep the house warm from the sun that shines in during the daytime, it’s important to close curtains or blinds once the sun goes down to help trap the warmth. This is a great example of how to insulate a room that’s smaller and only has one window.
6. Program Your Thermostat
You most likely don’t need your home to be heated as much when you aren’t there, or while you and your family are sleeping.
Program your thermostat to drop several degrees when you’re away and at night. This simple adjustment can save you hundreds of dollars in your heating bill over time.
7. Use a Space Heater in Certain Rooms
Space heaters may be the cheapest way to heat a house with electricity. Space heaters can be placed in certain rooms where you spend the most time.
Using space heaters also allows you to lower your thermostat and just heat the most important areas of your home.
8. Add Rugs Around the House
If the floor in your home feels cold, adding more rugs in the colder months can help keep your feet warm and cozy.
Rugs will also create a layer of insulation to your floors to keep heat from escaping.
9. Use Fans to Add Warmth
Ceiling fans often have the option to rotate counter clockwise, allowing heat that has risen in your home to come back down. Turn your fan on a low setting counterclockwise to help warm up your bedroom or living room.
10. Make Sure Furniture Isn’t Blocking Heat Flow
Radiators and vents along the wall or floor might be obstructing heat from moving around the house. To prevent blocking air flow, keep couches, chairs, and rugs off any heating vents.
11. Add Insulation Around Your Home
If you live in a poorly insulated home, improving your home’s thermal insulation is essential to saving on electricity and keeping you warm.
If there’s an attic in your house, this could be a major cause of those high energy bills.
How to Insulate A House
Do-It-Yourself insulation may sound like a tedious task, but you won't regret the work once you see your heating bills getting lower.There are also shortcuts you can try first before tearing down all your walls and opening up your ceilings.
The best way to insulate a house starts with the roof. 25% of heat lost in houses comes from the roof, especially in homes that aren’t insulated efficiently.
If you have an attic, place unfaced insulation along the floor — yes, that means you might have to move your holiday decorations! — to keep the rest of the living space warmer.
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By implementing these 11 heating tips around your home, you’ll be able to keep your house warm, cut energy spending, and lower the cost of heating bills this winter. Improving your home’s insulation can be time consuming for some houses, but the payoff is well worth it in the long run.
There are many ways to keep your home warmer throughout the cold winter months. Understanding where the cold is coming from, allows you to figure out the best solutions.
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