If we kept our homes as warm as we liked all winter, our energy bills would cost approximately $1 billion dollars. Although turning up the thermostat is tempting, just a few extra degrees can cripple your bank account. Luckily, there are many cheap, natural ways to heat your home that don’t involve blasting space heaters.
From lining your windows with bubble wrap to changing your ceiling fan’s direction, these heating hacks will get you through the winter intact.
1 Caulk your window frames.
Apply caulk to seal off air leaks around windows. Caulk only costs a few bucks and can add up to major savings on your energy bill.
2 If it’s sunny out, open the curtains.
Sunlight provides plenty of natural warmth on a cold day.
3 When the sun sets, close your curtains.
Without sunlight, heat escapes back the way it came – through your windows. Use heavy thermal curtains to trap heat in your home.
4 Put down plush area rugs on hardwood or tile floors.
Rugs and carpets keep heat from escaping through your floorboards. They’re also warmer to walk on than hardwood or tile floors.
5 Shower with the door open.
Leaving the door open while you shower lets warm, steamy air travel through the rest of your house.
6 Use a fireplace plug to keep warm air from escaping through your leaky chimney damper.
Up to 20 percent of your home’s warm air can leak out through a rusty or loose fireplace damper. Inflate a fireplace plug to seal the flue.
7 Add more insulation.
If you live in an older home, consider adding insulation to your walls and attic. Installing insulation is certainly an investment, but it pays for itself in reduced energy bills.
8 Sleep with a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed.
We may be throwing it way, way back, but these things really work. Pour boiling water into a hot water bottle and slip it under the blanket at the foot of your bed. You’ll have toasty toes all night long.
9 When you’ve finished baking, leave the oven door open for a cozy kitchen.
Once you’re done using the oven, turn it off and leave the door open. All that wonderfully warm air will heat your kitchen.
10 Keep cold air from seeping underneath the door with a draftstopper.
Fill in the gap between your door and the floor with an insulating draftstopper. You can buy one here or make your own!
11 Insulate your windows with bubble wrap.
Put bubble wrap on your windows to cut heat loss in half. It’s not the most attractive option, but it will save you money on your energy bill.
12 Close off any unused rooms.
The larger your home is, the more expensive it is to heat. If you have an empty guest room or storage space, close the door and seal it with a draftstopper. You won’t waste money heating a room you don’t use.
13 Reverse your ceiling fan’s direction.
Ceiling fans rotate in a counterclockwise fashion to push air downward and create a draft. During the winter, reverse your fan’s rotation to push cool air upward and mix with the rising heat. The mixed air will then spread downward, making your room feel warmer.
14 Snuggle up with flannel sheets.
Keep warm on winter nights with flannel sheets and a thick comforter.
15 Invest in a programmable thermostat.
You can save up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat. Set your thermostat 7-10°F cooler for the hours you’re away at work.
16 Warm up an entire room with a DIY terracotta pot heater.
All you need is a Sterno flame and two clay flower pots to make this heating contraption.
17 When all else fails, bundle up!