Whether you prefer to stay indoors during the chilly winter weather or get outside and get active, it’s nice to have your home be a warm refuge after a long day. As we transition from fall to winter, the air becomes cooler and the humidity begins to drop. While our heating systems in our homes increase the temperature, many do not add moisture to the air. Winter heating costs can vary depending on how you heat your home, so here are some money-saving tips to help keep it cosy all season long:
- Maximize the power of the sun. If you have south-facing windows, take advantage of the sun and leave the blinds or curtains open during the day and closed at night. Attach the edges of your curtains to the wall or window frame using Velcro or magnetic strips. By doing this you can reduce heat loss from one side of your house to the other.
- Raise the humidity in your home. Dry air feels cooler, so try to add some moisture to help bring up the temperature and retain heat. Aside from a humidifier, you can add houseplants and spray them with a water bottle once or twice a week to promote moisture in the air. Dry your laundry on racks indoors or even leave out a dish of water near heat sources, although be mindful of pets and kids when leaving out bowls of water. Even running the shower or bath with the door open if your family or roommates allow it. Sometimes boiling a large pot of water on your stove or kettle will help add more humidity to your kitchen or home.
- Inspect and seal all doors and windows. You can save up to 25 per cent on your heating bill by weather-stripping around windows, doors and air ducts. Cracks that allow cold air to pass through will remove heat and even moisture from your house. Not only do cracks add to the dry skin problem in the winter but it also ups your heating bill. Be eco conscious this season by taking care of your doors and windows with proper weather stripping and sealing. This is one of the most efficient and effective ways to manage your heating costs.
- Keep a steady temperature. Setting a higher temperature on the thermostat won’t heat your home faster. Remember to cool it down at night when you’re going to bed and increase the temperature during the day. Better still, use a programmable thermostat so you can set it and forget it.
- Change it up. Cosy can mean temperature, but also lighting can help make a space cosy. Switch out old bulbs for Energy Star LED lightbulbs labelled warm white or soft white. They have a traditional warm, cosy feel and are best for living spaces. As well, LED lights tend to have a longer life so you’re not only being cost effective, but you are reducing your waste and energy costs in the long run!
- Don’t forget blankets! Blankets of all shapes, sizes and materials can help you stay cosy and warm this season! Whether it’s an electric blanket or grandmas old knitted afghan, blankets can help make a room feel cosy and add more personality to a space. Throw a few extras on your bed at night and you’ll feel much warmer without having to hike up the heat. It’s affordable and fun!