Oct 152010

There’s nothing like the feeling of coming in from the cold and thawing in a warm house. But many times the heating bill that comes later isn’t quite worth it. Here are a few great ways to stay warm all winter without breaking the bank.

If you have an unfinished basement or a drafty front door, you can save lots of money and preserve your heat by using draft guards. There are now great devices that you can cut to fit any door. They block both sides so cold air can’t sneak in and warm air can’t leak out. They are an inexpensive and easy way to save a lot of money on the heating bill.

Space heaters are a great way to keep warm without turning up the heat in the whole house. You can use them to heat just the room you’re in so you’re comfortable, but not wasting money. Just remember that even newer model electric heaters can be a fire hazard so never leave them on unattended or while you’re sleeping.

If you’re snuggling up on the couch or lying in bed, you don’t even have to bother heating the whole room you’re in! Just throw on a couple of extra blankets, or buy an electric blanket to keep you warm and cozy. Safety tip though, make sure to keep the cord well maintained and watch for kinks or rips in the insulating lining.

Instead of only heating the room you’re in, you can also not heat the one’s you’re not in. If there’s a room you hardly ever use, don’t heat it. Close up the vents and the door. Just remember to put one of those draft guards under the door.

If you have a fireplace, getting a roaring fire going is a great way to heat not only the room it’s in, but also the area around it as well. Just remember to have the flu cleaned every year and never leave a fire unattended. Also important is to wait until the fire is completely out, embers turned to ash, then close the flu to keep warm air from escaping up the chimney.

Sunlight is a great natural way to heat your house. Open the blinds and let in natural light during the day, then close them to help trap the heat in at night. Just remember that if your windows aren’t airtight, this can actually cool your house. But replacing old, drafty windows is another great way to keep your house warm all winter.

Inevitably, if you live in a colder area, you will have to use the furnace eventually. But if you keep your furnace well maintained, it’s going to use less energy to do its job. If you have an older unit, get it checked out to make sure it’s still working as well as it can.

While it’s a bit of an investment and will take some learning to work properly, a programmable thermostat is a great way to save money on your heating bills. The concept is simple. Why heat your house when you’re not home or not awake. The thermostat lowers your temperature at night and during the day, but keeps it toasty when you’re at home. And you can even program it throughout the week for when you’ll be there.

Implementing some of these tips now will help prolong the inevitable turning on of that furnace. Then once it’s fired up, you’ll be armed with ways to keep warm on those cold days while reducing your heating costs at the same time.


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