At this point in the year, you might be tired of fighting chilly weather–especially if it’s inside your house. But keeping warm and toasty doesn’t have to mean cranking up the thermostat or wearing a parka 24/7. You can cut energy costs and stay cozy with these five smokin’ hot ideas:
1. Don’t heat rooms you don’t use. If you’re not using a room, don’t waste energy (and money) heating it. Just close the heating register and shut the door.
2. Spot heat. Instead of heating the whole house to a balmy 72 degrees, keep the thermostat at a lower temp and use space heaters to boost the warmth in the room you’re hanging out in. Portable models can follow you from room to room, and timers ensure you don’t leave it on when no one is there to enjoy it. Just make sure you are careful about where you place it for safety, and use caution around children.
3. Don’t let warmth sneak out the window. Hold up your hand and feel–are there gaps or drafts allowing warm air to escape and cold air to creep inside? Small tweaks here can make a big difference:
- Handy folks (or people who have a honey-do list that actually gets done), think about caulking the cracks and installing weather stripping.
- If DIY is DOA in your home, consider a clever alternative: Draft Dodgers for windows and doors. Just put one along the bottom of your window (they work for doors, too), making sure it is snuggled up close to the cracks – voilà! Banish the brrrrrs with no assembly required.
4. Get happy feet. If it’s freezing toes that force you to turn up the thermostat, try an electric foot warmer. This thick, rubber mat made of recycled material radiates heat and is perfect for placing beneath a desk area, in chilly workplaces, or near someone with limited mobility.
5. Sleep easy. Turning down the thermostat at night is another great way to cut costs during the winter months –and it’s not a big deal if you’re snug in a warm bed. An electric blanket takes the chill off. The best heated blankets or throws offer multiple heat settings, plush fabric, and an automatic timer that will turn off the blanket after three hours of use, just in case you nod off. You might want to warm up cold sheets before getting into bed. Talk about an “ahhh moment!”
What are you doing to stay warm this winter? Use the comments below to tell us.