5 green ways to stay warm this winterTuesday, January 28, 2014 by: Greener Ideal
With record lows sweeping the country, more and more people are looking for ways to stay comfortable in all the cold weather. If you don’t want to camp out in front of a wood-burning stove to keep your body warm, you don’t have to. Here are 5 green ways to keep your house heated without spending a lot of time and money.
Double the Drapes and Use Rugs
Windows are notorious for letting the heat out and the cold in. Installing new energy-saving windows can fix this problem, but that’ll cause a whole heap of new problems with your bank account. Instead, one of the best ways to fix this heating problem is to double up on your drapes—or use really thick drapes. Keep the drapes closed, even if you like having an outdoor view. The thickness of the drapes will ensure the heat stays in the house where it belongs, and that the chill stays out of the main living space. Another trick is to put throw rugs on the floor—especially if you have hardwood floors, stone, or tile. All three of these tend to retain the chill and take a while to heat up, which will affect how warm you are inside, particularly if you’re barefoot. By having an extra barrier between your feet and the floor, your feet will stay warm, keeping your body a comfortable temperature.
Flip the Ceiling Fan
By default, fans are set up to blow air up and out, which is perfect in the summer when you want hot air out of your house and cool air in. But in the winter, you want the opposite. That’s when it’s great to reverse the fan, pushing the hot air (that naturally rises) down into the main living space, keeping the rooms in your home warm.
Block the Draft
Have you ever stood near your front door (or any exterior door) for an extended period of time and felt a chill? That’s the draft coming in through the bottom of the door, and it affects the temperature in your home. You can lessen the effect by blocking that draft. You can use practically anything to block the air—from a rag to a towel. Once that draft is blocked, your home will be better sealed, making it less susceptible to those kinds of chills.
Get a Programmable
Thermostat If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, you need to get one. Regardless of the initial cost, it’ll pay itself off over the course of your next couple utility bills. Programmable thermostats are great because you can set the thermostat to maintain a lower temperature in your home during times when you’re at work or asleep, and then set it up to warm the home before you return home from work or wake up. This means you don’t pay exorbitant amounts of money on your monthly utility bill keeping your house warm even though no one was there, nor do you have to remember every day to lower the temperature before you leave and then return to a cold home.
Tune Up the Furnace
You should be having your furnace checked every year, to make sure it is functioning properly. Although purchasing a new newer, natural gas-fueled furnace would likely keep you warmer in the winter (and save you more energy in the long run), your budget probably won’t permit the costs a purchase like that would incur. Whether you live in Rochester or Calgary, a furnace installation and purchase is expensive, but regular tune-ups are a lot cheaper and faster. The person who checks your furnace will also alert you to any problems going on with the furnace and, if you’d like, get it working efficiently and up to par. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or increase your carbon footprint to stay warm. By using these tips, you’ll be sure to stay toasty, even in the middle of a cold front.