Since we do not have a fireplace, that is not an option in our frugal home. So, I will be addressing other things you can do to save money in this area.
Lower your Thermostat - Lowering your thermostat will definitely help you to keep your heating bill low, but then you need to find other ways to keep warm. Here are some tips to help you stay warm while trying to save money.
Insulation - Make sure your home is well insulated. Our home was insulated very well when it was built, which has saved us a lot of money over the years both with cooling and heating. This is harder to do in a home that you rent, but there are still things you can do to save money.
Take a look at the blog, CT on a Budget. Carol has some excellent tips and examples on how she has insulated her home and examples of the steps she has taken to lower her heating bills.
Check for Drafts - If your home is drafty, your heating system is going to have to work more to compensate for the cold air, so it is necessary to do whatever you can to stop any drafts from coming inside.
We have window air conditioners in our home and they definitely have drafts around them. We put towels in all the nooks and crannies of the a/c to keep the drafts out. We also cover our windows with either plastic wrap inside or blankets to keep the cold out.We also put a huge slab of Styrofoam on the outside of our French doors to keep the cold out.
When we lived in an older home with older style windows, they were drafty! We covered all of the windows with plastic outside and and would take socks and stuff them between the glass and window frame to stop any drafts and those measures made a big difference in our electric bill.
We have friends who lived in an old farm house and they used to take bales of hay and line the crawlspace under the house to keep the cold out.
Reverse your Ceiling Fans. Here is a blog post I wrote about this very topic. Ceiling fans were created to be used in both cold and hot temperatures. In the winter time, they need to be reversed to allow the warm air to move down the walls and to the floor, which will make the room feel warmer.
Be Active - The other day I was cleaning the kitchen and when I finally sat down to relax, I realized how warm I was even though it was actually cool in the house. So don't dismiss the idea of exercising or doing some chores to keep yourself busy and warm.
Dress in layers - Wear warm clothes such as long pants and long sleeve shirts. Wear a hat if it is really cold since that is where a lot of heat escapes from your body. Wear socks and slippers. Put on a sweater or a light jacket. In extreme cold I have been know to even wear gloves in the house.
Close Rooms Not in Use - If you have a room you are not using either close the vent in that room or close the door, so you are not heating rooms unnecessarily.
Warm Your Bed - Use a hot water bottle, or a rice pack, or cherry pit bed warmer to help keep your bed toasty warm at night. I've been saving my cherry pits for years, so that some day I will be able to make me a cherry pit bed warmer. I first learned about the idea in book from Mother Earth News. Other ideas include using an electric blanket or even a heating pad if you have one available.
Open Blinds & Curtains - Harness the power of the sun and open your blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house, and when the sun shifts close them to keep the warmth inside.
Use Blankets - We have blankets in every location where someone sits in our home and we usually always have one on when we are sitting. It just makes good sense to stay warm by covering up like this.
Drink Warm Drinks - Hot tea or hot chocolate are both good drinks to keep your body from feeling so chilly.
In the Kitchen - After I have baked something, I always leave my oven door open so the heat can escape into the house.
Invest in an Infrared Heater - Consider investing in an infrared heater for your home. Here is a blog post I wrote on this topic last year. Infrared Heat
There are many steps you can take to insure that you stay warm and save some money in the process. I hope my post has helped you come up with some ideas of your own as well.
What are some of the ways you help to keep your home warm during a cold spell?
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011-2014.
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