With polar vortexes moving through the plains and snow falling down, it’s that time of year. Winter is here!
Over the past few years, I’ve find myself hating the bitter winter more and more. Not only does the cold keep me from wanting to spend time outside, but it also increases my utility bills significantly. Up goes the thermostat along with your energy bill.
On especially cold nights and depending on the size of your residence, your heating bill can nearly double! This is not good news for your budget. Luckily, there are a few things you can do keep cozy without having to nudge up the temperature on your thermostat. Here are five ways to keep warm without turning up the heat.
Get an Electric Space Heater
Now you may be thinking that this would increase your energy bill too. It can increase your bill somewhat, but if you play it smart it can actually save you money vs. running the furnace to heat your whole house.
For example, if you keep your thermostat in the low 60’s you can save a ton of money. But at that temperature you probably won’t be very comfortable. This is where a small space heater comes in handy. You can use it to only warm up the area you are in.
When you turn up your furnace, most of the heating you are paying for is in parts of the house that aren’t be used anyway. Setting the thermostat lower and only warming the space you are currently using saves money. It’s a lot like downsizing your home. If you set your space heater on 25 minutes before bed time, your room will be warm and you won’t use as much energy through the night.
Light a Fire
If you have a fireplace, you can use it the same way you would a space heater. You can keep the rest of the house cool and only warm the room where you currently are, saving you money. This idea can be used for gas or log fireplaces, or even an old-fashioned corn or log stove.
Pile on the Blankets
Nothing says cozy like being curled up on the couch in blankets. Wrapping up in layers is a great way to keep yourself warm while not breaking the bank. Wear warm winter clothes underneath and you’ll be warmed up in no time. There’s no sense in heating your home so much that you can wear shorts in the winter. That’s a huge waste of money!
Light a Spicy Candle
Maybe this is just me, but if I light a candle that has a spicier scent like pumpkin spice, apple pie, cinnamon or pine, it instantly makes me feel warmer. This may only be a mental solution, but if you think you feel warmer, you will be.
Enjoy a Warm Beverage
A nice hot cup of tea or cocoa is sure to keep you warm when it gets cold outside. Baking cookies to go with your cocoa is also a great way to have fun and heat your home slightly by using the oven. If an adult beverage is your preference in the evening, there are tons of great hot drinks such as mulled wine, hot toddy, and Irish coffee. Just be sure to drink responsibly.
When it comes to staying warm in the winter cold, don’t get too stingy over the bill. Keeping your heater too low can lead your pipes to freeze, causing an even bigger and more expensive. Find a happy medium between freezing pipes and wearing shorts in the house so you can save money and stay cozy with these ideas.
How do you stay cozy in the winter? What do you keep your thermostat set at?
Photo courtesy of: jolier
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