In the cold winter months, staying warm is a top priority - but it comes with a price. Those who live in chilly areas can spend upwards of $400 (or more) on their monthly electric bills. Yikes! How can you keep warm without spending hundreds of dollars? Here are ten tips:
Light a fire Most homes in cold areas come with fireplaces. Though you won't want to use it every night, doing it a few nights a week will make a difference in your heating bill.
Caulk windows and doors Use this waterproof sealant to prevent cold air from coming inside. At just $2 a tube, it's worth it to caulk around windows and doors each winter to help keep the warm air in and the cold air out!
Use a programmable thermostat Set the heater at a lower temperature when you won’t be in. You can also set the temperature lower in the middle of the night once you're asleep.
Consider a space heater If you only need one room heated, consider a space heater. They use less energy than central heating units, saving you money.
Lower the temp of your water heater Most water heaters are set much higher than need be.
Let sunlight in Shady homes are cold. Open blinds and curtains on sunny days and let the sunlight naturally warm up your place.
Make sure your attic is insulated Without proper insulation cold air can creep in your home. It's recommended to have at least 7” of insulation in the attic.
Layer up Turn your heater down a degree or two and put on some layers! Socks should be worn at all times, along with pants and a sweatshirt. By turning the heater down just one degree, you're saving 3% on average on your heating bill.
Bake and cook Eating at home saves money in itself, but having the stove or oven on also warms your home. After using the oven, turn it off and leave it cracked to release hot air into your home.
Insulate In addition to caulking the windows and doors, you should insulate themas well. Cold air mostly comes in through thin windows and open doors, so purchase thick curtains, invest in window treatments or buy storm windows and doors, which are heavier than normal ones.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes for MediaShower.com on topics from saving money to small businesses to traveling.