Energy-efficient heating is more important than ever with rising gas and electric costs this winter. Keep your house warm with these winter energy-saving tips that’ll be sure to lower your Winter gas bill and keep your electricity costs down. Looking for more cheap ways to conserve electricity? Check out our resource on Christmas lights.
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Cheapest Ways to Heat a Room Without Electricity or Gas
1. Use the Sun to Heat Your Home
That big, bright ball in the sky might be what we avoid in the warmer months, but come winter season, we embrace it. Use the sun to your advantage. Open your south-facing window blinds or drapes to let the heat inside.
2. Closing the Blinds Can Keep Your House Warmer
Close the blinds when the sun goes down to keep that warm air circulating and reduce cold air from getting in.
3. Use Blankets to Keep Warm
Never underestimate the power of a good blanket! Swap out your lighter, summer sheets for some fuzzy cotton or flannel sheets. To stay extra toasty, a heavier comforter and extra throws at the end of the bed will keep your feet warmer.
4. Seal & Insulate Air Leaks for Efficient Home Heating
An easy way for cool air to enter your home is through cracks and leaks. Seal any leaks you can find. Be sure to check behind cupboards and closets for unfinished spaces, around your chimney, and near utility pipes. Weatherstripping can also help around doors and windows. The better you seal up your home, the less chance warm air can escape.
5. Furniture Positions for Maximum Heating Efficiency
If your couch is positioned up against a window or outside wall, you'll feel chillier when you are lounging around. If you can, move your furniture away from the cooler areas of the home. Furniture that blocks vents and heaters is also soaking up that glorious heat they are pushing out, leaving you in the cold. This is one of those winter energy savings tips that you rarely hear about, but it makes a big difference!
6. Keep Moving to Keep Warm
Your body produces more heat when you're up and about, so get up! Winter energy savings tips don't always have to be technical or boring! It's easy to snuggle up and stay put when you're cold. Turn on some music (80s pop anyone?) and dance around. Clean the house or plan small workouts at home to get your blood pumping. Bonus - who couldn't use a little more exercise after all of those delicious holiday meals and baked treats?
7. Seal Your Attic to Save on Heating Costs
Your attic is insulated, but the door might not be. When your attic hatch or door is even slightly warped or obstructed, you're in trouble. Warm air rises, so the heat in your home could be escaping up into the attic. Just as that air moves, the cold air from outside could be sneaking into your home. Insulate the door just like the rest of the attic, and if it doesn't lie flat, then be sure to use a latch bolt system so it closes tightly.
Most Energy-Efficient Ways to Heat a Home
When temperatures drop in Texas, you may notice your heating bill rise. Whether you have a gas or an electric heating system, heating your home in an energy-efficient way can keep your energy bills low. Try out the following tips to find the most efficient way to heat your home and keep the gas and electric bills down in the Winter.
1. 68° F is the Best Temperature for Heaters in the Winter
Energy.gov suggests keeping your thermostat at the minimum comfortable temperature for maximum energy savings during cold winter months. This is around 68° for the average person, but you should always adjust to your personal preferences.
2. Use Space Heaters to Heat a Room
Space heaters can save you money on your electric bill by heating up a room faster and with less electricity than central air and is the best way to heat a small room. However, this only works if you’re limiting your movement to one room. Using multiple space heaters to heat up different rooms in the house can increase your electricity bill, so only use a space heater if you intend on just heating up one room.
3. Turn Down the Heat at Night & When You’re Away
Your thermostat settings can have a big impact on your electric bill. When you're away from home or asleep, turn your thermostat down about 10 degrees. This can save you about 10% more a year on your electricity. Programmable thermostats can help make it easier to remember. Don't turn your thermostat OFF when you leave the house - it will take more energy to heat up your entire house to a comfortable temperature again.
Turning the heat on and off can raises your electric bill, so be sure to keep a minimum temperature set when you’re away!
4. Closing Off Rooms Saves Energy
Closing off doors and vents in unused rooms can save energy by conserving heat in the part of the house you and your household are actually using. Section off the house to keep yourself and others in the same space during the same time – for example, everyone in the household can spend their days in the downstairs living room and kitchen area to make use of any heat given off while cooking, and then migrate to their bedrooms during the colder evening to conserve heat in a smaller space. If there are any rooms or parts of the house that people don’t tend to enter, like storage areas, keep these shut off from the rest of the house by closing doors, sealing vents, or hanging blankets between rooms.
5. Use Ceiling Fans to Disperse Heat in Winter
During the summer and hotter months, we use the ceiling fans to pull hot air upward and away from living areas. Now that the weather is cooler, you'll want that warm air directed into the room and circulated. Set the ceiling fan to rotate clockwise to trap the heat inside, and leave it on a low setting to push that air down into the room.
6. Make Sure Your Furnace is Checked
Since your furnace will be kicked into high gear during the colder months, be sure to have it checked out. You want to make sure the vents are clean and unblocked. Any blockage can raise energy consumption! When the filter is dirty, replace it. This is a simple task that is inexpensive, as well. Check your furnace monthly to maintain proper performance and reduce your energy bill.
Other Ways to Keep Warm at Home During the Winter
Sometimes you must find creative solutions to find the cheapest ways to heat your house, both with and without electricity. Lower your electric bill this winter with these extra tips to generate and converse heat in your home.
1. Heat Your House with Home Cooking
Most people don’t realize that you can heat your home with your oven and/or your dishwasher, appliances that can put out much more heat than you might think. When you cook, you're heating up your home AND your belly with a warm meal. Meals like roasts, casseroles, soups, and stews cook at lower temperatures for a longer period of time than other meals. Skip the takeout and gather in the kitchen for some fun baking or family meal preparation. And after you’re done cooking, keep the oven door open to let the heat out into the room for some instant coziness.
2. Heat Up Your Pillows to Keep Warm
It might seem a bit odd, but this simple, quick method actually works. Grab your blow dryer and warm your pillowcases. Blow the hot air into your pillowcase and under the sheets until you feel the warmth. Once you feel the heat, jump on in and bundle up! Voila! Your natural body heat will do the rest. You can also put your clothes and bedding in the dryer for a bit to heat them up before using them.
3. Using a Humidifier to Add Moisture Keeps Your House Warm
The stationary air in your home can become very, very dry. Moist air actually feels warmer and holds heat better. Using a humidifier can help you keep that thermostat set at a lower setting while increasing the moisture in the air. House plants can also aid in increasing moisture in your home, keeping it warmer.
4. Use a Smart Thermostat to Automate Energy-Efficient Heating
Using a smart thermostat can help lower your electric bills by automating your AC schedule around when you’re up during the day, out at work, and asleep at night. Smart thermostats usually have “green” settings that can ensure your home heating system is using energy as efficiently as possible to keep your house warm.
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