Wondering how you’re going to stay warm this winter without spending a fortune on heating bills? There are actually a lot of ways to cut back on what you spend on heating. Some of the most common ways to stay warm cheaper is to use electric blankets, thermal curtains and space heaters. Here are seven ways to stay warm this winter that won’t drain your bank account…
There are probably hundreds of space heaters on the market today. Some of them are cheap and they work very well. If you’re trying to heat a small room, an electric space heater can easily do the job. The important thing is to choose the right one. For instance, you don’t want to choose one of the ‘radiator’ looking ones that heat up in the front if you have small children.
Oil filled space heaters normally have a decent sized fan that does a good job of propelling the heat and filling up a little bit bigger space. Don’t get fooled by the little ceramic space heaters, though. Chances are that when you get home it won’t seem nearly as good as it did when you are at the store because the heat is concentrated to a smaller area. The only time I imagine this being worth it is if you’re looking for a little space heater to keep at your feet while you work at a desk or something.
Dress the Part
Want to cut back on heating costs? Put on a sweater and a pair fleece pants or sweatpants. That will allow you to cut the thermostat down a few degrees at least. It’s definitely much easier and cheaper to warm yourself with the proper clothing than to run around your home in shorts and turning the heat up to 80 degrees. Heck you can usually find brand new thermals at dollar stores. Have “snuggling blankets” handy in the living room and common areas where you may spend time, too.
Winterize Your Home Windows
A lot of your home’s heat goes right out the window – literally. Heat escapes through cracks that are found around the window, while the cold air comes in. You even lose heat right through the glass if you don’t have them properly winterized.
One of the cheapest ways to prevent this is by using plastic on your window. Get plastic and some duct tape. Cut the plastic so it extends an inch or so beyond the window panes. Put it up over your windows and duct tape that sucker up there.
Next, if you have (or can get your hands on) a hairdryer, run it across the plastic. Don’t let it sit too long in one area. Keep a smooth motion as if you’re painting. This will help tighten the plastic. Now take strips of plastic and cover the edges of the plastic and tape you just put up. This kind of creates a bubble, so if any are does manage to get through it will likely get caught in the second “lining”.
It might not be beautiful, but it’s cheap and it works. No one is going to see it anyways if you have curtains up. Speaking of curtains, if you can then you should get some thermal curtains. They’re heavier than normal and block both light and temperature (they can help keep cold out during the winter and heat out during the summer, so a great investment). Eclipse curtains are some of the most popular ones.
Remember to open your curtains during the day on the side of the house the shines in. This lets in a little warmth purely from the sunlight.
Winterize Your Doors
You can buy weather strips in a variety sizes from Wal-Mart or any other store that sells home goods or hardware stores. Use them to line the thin cracks between your door and the pane. If your house has settled, gaps may not be even. Do your best and then lay a towel or blanket down at the foot of the door to keep more heat in.
An electric blanket is another great investment to stay warm during the winter. It may expensive at the time to spend $30 to $60 bucks on a single blanket, but you can turn the heat down considerably when you’re wrapped in warmth. Throughout the winter you can save a lot of money considering it takes much less energy to power your electric blanket than it does to power your heater.
If you have spare bedrooms, extra bathrooms or storage rooms that are not normally used, don’t waste money heating them. Close the vents (or even tape them up if they’re old and won’t close). If you have enough blankets, hang them in front of the door to that room. If there are multiple rooms at the end of a hallway, hang a heavy blanket as far forward as practical to minimize the area you’re trying to keep warm.
Invest In A Programmable Thermostat
This is another purchase that may seem expensive up front. But being able to set it to 55 degrees when you’re not home, 60 at night, etc… will really add up. Otherwise you’re constantly adjusting it (which easily increases heating costs) or it’s always running at full blast when it doesn’t need to be. At night, you’re cuddled in the blankets, so having it automatically adjust to a lower temperature cuts down on your heating but you’re still comfortable. And there’s no reason to run your heat at 70 degrees when you aren’t even home.