How can you keep costs down and still keep warm this winter? We rounded up six easy money and energy-saving tips for keeping in the heat without burning up all your extra cash.
I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m a cold baby. At the first sight of snow, you’ll find me curled up on my couch with 3-5 fuzzy blankets and a cup of piping hot tea, the thermostat turned up to a cozy 76 degrees. This behavior typically carries on unchecked until the monthly energy bill arrives and ruins all my fun, because much as I love being warm, I also hate paying exorbitant amounts of money to stay that way.
Whether your rent or own your home, you probably have to pay for your heat, and when you live in a place where winter is a thing, it’s not unusual to see your energy bill double during the first cold front. So how can you keep costs down and still keep warm this winter? We rounded up six easy money and energy-saving tips for keeping in the heat without burning up all your extra cash.
1. Put your thermostat on a strict schedule.
As noted above, I’m definitely guilty of pushing my thermostat’s limits when the weather gets chilly. But if I want to save money this winter, I’m going to need to stop trying to heat my home to tropical levels. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the optimal temperature for efficient winter home heating is 68 degrees, and they recommend setting a timer that bumps this down to 50-55 degrees when you’re at work or sleeping:
“By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.”
If you, like me, think that seems a bit chilly, then you should probably…
2. Dress for the season.
I like a toasty warm home primarily because I live in a fantasy world where wearing nothing but tank tops and athletic shorts around the house in December is an acceptable life decision. But I’ve recently come to realize my impractical wardrobe choices are definitely not worth the extra money I have to pay to keep them up. I’ve lived in the Midwest for my whole life, so its not like I don’t have a closet stuffed to the brim with sweaters, fleece leggings, wool socks and hand-knit sweaters. I totally do. Couple a few layers of winter clothing with a nice fuzzy blanket and there’s really no need to turn up the heat any higher than a cool 68.
If you want to dress for a year-round summer I recommend moving to Puerto Rico, but if you’re not up for uprooting your life in favor of 80-degree winters, accept your fate and start utilizing that vast collection of fuzzy Christmas socks.
3. Seal up drafty doors and windows.
I live in an old building, and old buildings are notoriously drafty. Between the huge bay windows in my living room and the door in my kitchen that leads out to the back porch, there are lot of places in my apartment that leak heat into the outside world, and the more this happens, the most I have to pay to heat my home.
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