Like a lot of the United States, Wyoming and Colorado have experienced some pretty major cold spells this winter. (We all know those gorgeous spring-like days are the exception, not the rule.)
The simple solution, of course, is to crank up the heat and bundle up with a cup of hot cocoa and a puppy or two. But the energy bill that comes with it is less than ideal. And next month, when it comes time to reconcile your budget, you're going to feel it.
So how can you keep your energy costs low, even during the coldest months? Is it even possible? It absolutely is! Here is a nice roundup of all the best tips for keeping your place warm without turning up the heat.
1. Lower the temperature at bedtime and don't raise it till you need to.
Bedtime hours spent cozied up under the covers are a great time to turn the heat down low. That down comforter will work wonders! In the morning, when you get up and start moving around the rest of the house, raise the thermostat by a degree or two. Bonus points if you wait till someone complains about being cold.
2. Dress warmly when you're at home.
No, I don't mean layer up six sweaters and a ski mask. But get used to the idea of dressing in long pants and a hoodie, socks and slippers. If you're dressing in a warm outfit, there won't be much need to raise the temperature. And as long as cold drafts aren't sneaking in from outside (air sealing will help, if they are), you should be more than comfortable.
3. Make sure your windows are sealed.
We've shared this tip before because it really works! Unsealed houses lose more than a quarter of their heat through the windows, no joke. Not only does this let cold air into your - hopefully - warm home, it creates drafts, actually drawing warm air out. Air sealing solves this problem by closing off gaps around windows, outlets and baseboards. It's a great investment!
4. Run your ceiling fans on low in a clockwise direction.
This sounds like a joke, but I promise it's actually a really effective way to keep warm hair circulating throughout your home. In the winter, warm air collects at the top of the room, so the ceiling will feel a few degrees warmer than your floor. Want to get that warm air down where you are? Just run your ceiling fan on low with the blades running clockwise (you'll find a little switch on the core of your fan). Easy!
5. Add heat from unconventional sources as you go.
While this is certainly no way to heat the entirety of your home, cooking a warm meal on the stovetop or taking a hot shower can actually make a difference for a time. The reasoning is simple: if you want your house to be warmer in the winter, doing "warm things" is only a positive choice.
6. Cover windows that don't face the sun.
If there is no sunlight coming through a window, it will be a negative draw on the heat in your home. On the other hand, if there is sunlight coming through a window, it will be a positive add! So, draw the blinds on any window that doesn't have direct sunlight coming into it, but let the rays in everywhere else.
7. Take a hot water bottle to bed (or everywhere else).
A water bottle filled with hot water is an old-school trick for staying warm, even with the thermostat down at night. Toss it under the covers before brushing your teeth and you'll have a cozy, warm bed before you get there. Trust me, it's a habit that will stick with you!
How do you keep warm at home without turning the heat up? We'd love to hear your insider tips!