Winter may be months away and the last thing on your mind, but it’s smart to start thinking about it…at least a little bit. Every year, people seem to get caught off guard when temperatures drop and the cost of keeping a house warm skyrockets.
To keep that from happening, here are some ideas to keep in mind that will be able to save you money once temperatures start to drop.
Lower the Thermostat
It’s tempting to crank up the heat when it’s freezing outside, but keeping your thermostat a few degrees lower can significantly affect your energy bill. Consider wearing cozy layers and using thick blankets to stay warm indoors.
Another effective strategy is to go outside for two minutes, experience the cold, and return inside. You won’t feel the difference between 72 and 68 degrees; it will all feel warm.
If you can’t stand to have the house colder, consider getting a programmable thermostat, and use it to set lower temperatures at night or when you’re away from home. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by making this simple adjustment.
Let the Sun Inside
On sunny winter days, take advantage of the natural warmth the sun provides. Keep your curtains or blinds open during the day to let sunlight stream in and warm up your living space. At night, close them to retain the heat you’ve accumulated. This easy technique will save you money on heating bills and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your home.
If you want to get really good at this trick, put a rug in front of the window to absorb the heat. No, this one strategy alone won’t be enough to keep a house warm, but if it it can make a one or two-degree difference for an hour or two, it’s worth doing.
Optimize Heating Systems
Ensure your heating system is running efficiently by performing regular maintenance before temperatures plummet. Professionals will charge a lot more when the demand is higher in the colder months, and wait times can be inconvenient.
Replace air filters, clean vents, and inspect your heating unit for any issues. It’s also essential to have your furnace or boiler professionally serviced annually.
A well-maintained heating system will work more effectively, using less energy and reducing winter heating expenses.
Get a Space Heater
Don’t use the central heating system if you want to take the heating system to a new level. Instead, invest in a portable space heater like this one. The issue with a central heating system is that it will heat up the entire house, including the parts of the house that aren’t being used.
With a space heater, plug in the heater while you’re in the room and stay warm while the rest of the house doesn’t have to be warmed. When you move to a new room, take the heater and repeat the same process. If you hate waiting for the heater to warm up a room, invest in a second space heater and get that one going a few minutes before you go to the next room.
Upfront, these will cost a bit of money, but you can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a winter, and eventually many winters.
Utilize Your Winter Wardrobe
Instead of splurging on new winter clothes, try to make the most of what you already have. Layer up with sweaters, scarves, and hats to stay warm. When you need new winter attire, shop during seasonal sales or explore thrift stores for affordable options. Additionally, learn basic mending skills to fix any minor clothing damages, extending the life of your winter wear and saving you money in the long run.
Another strategy, although it will have to wait until after this winter, is to purchase winter clothing during the offseason. Many retailers will put winter clothes on sale once February hits. They do this to make room in their store for spring and summer clothes. It may seem counterproductive to buy winter clothes just as the weather is starting to warm up, it will be a great investment when things start to cool off again next year.
Even though winter is still months away, if you prepare now, you will be able to save hundreds of dollars without being uncomfortable.