When the frigid weather outside has you shivering, you may be tempted to blast the heater. Before you do that, consider these six options for keeping the inside of your home cozy and warm that don’t involve touching the thermostat.
FIND AND SEAL DRAFTS
Air leaks in your home make your heating (and in the summer, your cooling) inefficient. Those drafts will raise your energy bills without you feeling any benefit. Finding these air leaks will improve your energy efficiency and increase your comfort. Common places you’ll find drafts are under and around doors and windows, baseboards, fireplaces, vents and fans. Energy.gov has more advice on finding and sealing air leaks.
Cold, hard floors can make your rooms feel even chillier. Rugs will add a bit of warmth on cold nights with their extra insulation – the thicker the better. With handmade rugs, look for a higher knot count. With machine-made rugs, the plusher the pile, the more warmth you’ll get. Any rug, however, will provide some warmth and comfort.
COVER YOUR WINDOWS
Whether you use shades, curtains or blinds, adding window coverings can help keep out drafts in your home. With curtains, there are a few options that you should look at for improved energy efficiency. Heavy fabrics, layered curtains or insulated fabrics with thermal backing will provide the most warmth.
DON’T BLOCK HEATERS/VENTS/RADIATORS
Consider the placement of your furniture. Move sofas, entertainment centers, bookcases, etc. away from radiators, vents or any other heating unit. Otherwise, you’re blocking the flow of warm air and you aren’t getting to enjoy that heat; your furniture is.
SEAL OFF UNUSED ROOMS
Close doors to rooms you don’t use very often. Guest rooms, hobby rooms, storage – these are all good candidates for rooms to close and seal off during especially cold periods.
PLUG YOUR FIREPLACE
If your home has a fireplace, the leaks around it can be a huge energy waster. Some experts estimate that homeowners can reduce air leaks by as much 14 percent by sealing and weatherstripping their fireplaces.
Using these six tips can make your home warmer and cozier during those cold months, all without increasing your heating bill. Add a cup of tea, some fuzzy socks, and you’re all set to hold off the chill for the remainder of this winter.