How to Keep Heating Costs Down

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It’s getting cold outside!  While some people have contests to see who can go the longest without turning on their heat (last year we won by going all winter without turning it on at all!), it’s not always possible to play these games.  Especially if you have an unattached home, an elderly or infant living with you, or pets.  There are ways to cut down without being ridiculous.  Here’s a list of ten:

1.  Make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing, even while inside.  Layer up, remembering that loose clothing  will keep you warmer as it insulates better.  Also remember that wearing darker clothing will keep you warm.  Why?  The darker the clothing, the more light it is absorbing.  The more light it is absorbing, the more heat you are attracting.  White and lighter pigments reflect most if not all light away.

Super cute science experiment proving it works 🙂

2.  Use an electric space heater.  Remember to use this only in the room you’re in.  Space heaters are great, but you need to use them with extreme caution.  They can cause burns, fires, and other hazards, so make sure to never leave them unattended, watch children and pets extremely closely while around them, and leave a decent radius free of clutter.
3.  After cooking, don’t let all that energy you just heated up the oven with go to waste.  Leave the oven door open so you can keep your thermostat lower.
4.  Seal up your windows.  They sell plastic kits to seal them up, but if that doesn’t fit your budget, hang some blankets over them.  And don’t stop at windows.  Seal up doors to the outside, storage spaces, and closets you don’t regularly use.  Don’t forget your attic entrance!
5.  If your heating vents are blocked, it may be time to adjust your feng shui.  For instance, if your couch is in front of the vent that heats your living room, all you’re doing is paying a lot of money to make the back of the couch warm while you’re reaching for your snuggie.  For unavoidable arrangements, you may want to invest in plastic heat directors that can redirect the heat to the rest of the room.
6.  By all means leave your heat running all day.  But when you’re sleeping or out of the house, turn it off or down.  Just make sure that if you’re leaving it off for an extended period of time such as going out of town that your pipes are well insulated (so that they won’t freeze,) and that you’re not leaving any pets in a bad situation.
7.  So you’ve plastic wrapped the doors you don’t regularly use.  But the ones you do can still cost you heat.  Consider investing in a super cute draft stopper that serves both as decoration and a way to keep your heat from escaping out from under the door.  Pinching pennies?  Use a rolled up towel at the base of the door instead.  

8.  Clean or replace your filter often!  Checking on it once a month will keep your bill lower by making sure dirt and other fun stuff isn’t blocking the heat from flowing freely throughout your home.

9.  Use your kitchen and bathroom fans sparingly.  While you do want to remove steam and condensation from your home after your shower, you don’t want to be removing that heat you’ve been working so hard to pay for.

10.  Caulk up cracks in window and door frames, as well as any cracks that might exist on surfaces such as basement floors or walls.  It’s amazing how much heat you can lose just through a tiny crack!

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