If you use radiator heat, make them work harder without spending an extra cent. Wrap a very large piece of corrugated cardboard in aluminum foil (shiny side out), and place it behind your free-standing radiator. The foil will reflect the heat, and make the room warmer.
Stuffed Animal Draft Dodgers
Do your kids have lots of stuffed animals? This winter, put those they play with less often to good use: Line them up in front of their bedroom windows to prevent drafts from coming in underneath.
Keep It Humid
It’s true that it’s not the heat that makes you feel warm, it’s the humidity. Humid air feels warmer than dry air, so in the winter, instead of cranking the heat, run a humidifier. This allows you to turn down the heat, save energy, and still feel comfortable. Live, leafy plants also help raise humidity levels.
A Ceiling Fan Can Keep You Warm Too
Don’t let your fan go to waste just because it’s no longer warm outside. To stay toasty during the frigid days of winter, hit the reverse switch to push hot air down into your room.
Plug Up Leaks
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a well sealed home can be up to 20 percent more energy efficient. Most leaks occur in the basement or attic—look where you feel a draft or around wiring holes, plumbing vents, ducts, and basement rim joints. You’ll be able to seal lots of leaks with a simple caulking gun, but for instructions on how to plug larger holes, check out this guide at EnergyStar.gov.
Lock Your Windows
In the winter, don’t just keep windows closed, make sure they’re locked for the tightest possible seal. This could greatly reduce drafts.
Winterize Your Door
If you have a sliding glass door that’s rarely used during the winter, seal the top, bottom, and sides with duct tape to keep cold air from coming in. Or, cut the sleeve off an old sweater or sweatshirt, then fill it with uncooked rice and knot the ends. Place in front of drafty doors and the rice will absorb the cold!
Make sure to vacuum your heating and air conditioning vents regularly. When they get caked up with dust your furnace or air conditioner has to work much harder! For the best energy efficiency, make sure to keep them dust-free.
Close Some Vents
Close the heating and air-conditioning vents in rooms in your home you don’t frequently use, like a guest room or laundry room. If your vents don’t have closures, simply seal them off with duct tape.
Slow and Steady with the Thermostat
When it’s time to turn on the heat, be patient. Your house won’t heat up any faster if you crank the thermostat way up, but you are likely to forget to turn it down, which can be a huge energy waster.
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