As the temperature drops outside, the inside of the home gets more challenging to keep warm. Turning up the heat is one option, but it is expensive. What if there were ways to keep the house warmer without causing the heating bill to increase drastically? Homeowners can expect to pay a little more during the winter to keep their home warm, but there are other tricks to try, too. Use the following to help keep the house warm, making you more comfortable and reducing your heating expenses.
Hang Curtains – And Use Them
A lot of cold air can seep into the home through the windows. Heavy curtains can help block this, keeping the house warmer. Opt for thicker fabrics that will stop the cold air better. During the day, keep the curtains open to let the sunlight into the home, which will help keep it warmer. At night, close the curtains to help block out the cold better.
Add Rugs to Hard Floors
Are you stuck in bed because of the cold floors? While a fuzzy pair of slippers can help, it may be worth investing in a few area rugs. If there are hard floors like wood or tile in the house, adding rugs can help provide warmer spots to walk in the morning. Use rugs throughout the house to help keep your feet warm and comfortable.
Cook and Leave the Oven Open
Ovens can provide a significant amount of heat, but you won’t want to run them constantly to heat the home. Still, if you’re planning on making a batch of delicious cookies, leave the oven door cracked while you enjoy the snack. Do not do this if children or pets in the home could get hurt. If it’s safe to do so, leaving the oven open allows some of the heat to escape into the kitchen, warming up the room.
Close the Flue for the Fireplace
When the fireplace is in use, the flue must be open to allow the smoke out of the home. However, when it’s not in use, make sure the flue is closed. An open flue will let cold air get inside the house, making it more challenging to keep the home warm. Flue blockers are also available to ensure no drafts are coming in through the fireplace.
Shrink Wrap the Windows
Insulating the windows with shrink wrap can help cut down on the cold air that gets inside. Shrink wrap for windows is easy to install and can make a big difference in cutting down on drafts. Add the plastic to the inside of the window to help keep the cold air out.
Add Insulation in the Attic
Heat rises, so a lot of the heat in a house is lost through the attic. If there is insufficient insulation, it will be more difficult (and expensive) to heat the home. Adding even a little bit of insulation can help keep more of the heat inside the house, making it more comfortable. Check the current R-value of the attic and make sure it’s high enough for the area. In colder climates, the insulation should be between R50 and R60 to provide the best protection against heat loss through the attic.
Insulate the Garage Door
Since the garage is not usually insulated, it can be a way for heat to escape the home. Insulating the garage door can be a DIY project, and it’s a great way to help keep the garage warmer. Insulation helps to keep areas close to the garage warm, as well, which can make it easier to keep your home nice and cozy through the winter. Don’t forget about the weatherstripping to help keep the temperature in the garage stable.
Change the Filters
Changing the filters should be done regularly. When it comes to heating your home, proper maintenance and clean filters go a long way toward making the house comfy and reducing the cost of heat. Have the HVAC system maintained so it’s in optimal working condition, then change out the filter as often as necessary. In most homes, it’s a good idea to change the filter at least once every 60 to 90 days, and it may need to be changed more frequently in homes with pets.
Rearrange the Furniture
Where are the HVAC registers in the home? If there’s furniture blocking them, now’s the time to rearrange the room and get the new look you want. When the registers are blocked, the home won’t be adequately heated. Moving the furniture can help keep them open, allowing the HVAC system to work correctly.
Get a Snake or Sweep for the Doors
Door snakes don’t slither around, but they do help keep out drafts. A door snake is a long fabric tube filled with stuffing or beads. The snake can be placed along the base of the door to keep out the cold air. Install a new door sweep if this is inconvenient or you’d prefer something that didn’t need to be moved around. The sweep attaches to the door and closes any small gap underneath it.
Get a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are well worth the upgrade. It’s just fun to tell the thermostat to turn on or adjust the temperature. Beyond that, however, these thermostats allow for more minute adjustments that can help preserve energy when you’re at work and make sure the home is warm when you get back. It doesn’t need to be as warm when no one is there, so the thermostat can be set to a lower temperature during the day. You’ll want it to be toasty inside, so the thermostat can be set to come on and heat the home right before you arrive.
Keeping your home warm doesn’t just mean increasing the temperature on the thermostat. Use the above ways to help keep the home warm, reducing how much you’ll end up spending to be comfortable. These tricks work and will help keep your home much warmer, so you and your family can be comfortable no matter how low the temperature gets outside.
Blake Brumfield is the owner of AC TEX, LLC Air Conditioning and Heating. He is a graduate of Lindsey-Cooper Refrigeration School and has over 6 years of working experience out in the field. Blake holds a Universal EPA License, Certified Technician License, and a HVAC Contractor License. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Blake spends most of his free time continuing to study and learn about today’s modern HVAC systems.