As the weather cools, heating bills rise across the country. Because I’m on a limited budget and have a thrifty mindset, I’m always looking to save money. Here are the ways that I winterize my home to stay warm and save money! (This post does contain affiliate links that support this blog. See our disclosure page for more information.)
Winterize Your Home
In the winter, my around-the-house style is sweatpants, sweatshirt, and a pair of thick socks. If I’m too warm in that outfit, I turn the heat down. On a normal evening, my thermostat is set at 68 degrees. For some, this is too cold- I totally get that, but try bundling up in the house and try lowering your thermostat just two degrees.
Turn the heat off/down.
When I’m work, my house is set at 50 degrees. It’s cool enough that it doesn’t require a lot of energy to heat my house, but also easy to reheat my home once I’m off work. I use to turn my heat completely off, but I came home one day to a house temperature of 37 degrees…bbrrrr! When I go to sleep, I turn down the thermostat to 60 degrees. By the time the house gets colder, I’m under two blankets to keep me warm. An hour before I get up, my thermostat is programmed to return the house to 68 degrees.
If you turn off your heat, remember to turn it back on when you get home. My neighbor came over for a movie night, and I had forgotten that my heat was off. It was like 55 degrees in the house….ooops! I pulled out the space heater to help the house (and her) quickly heat up.
Avoid using space heaters.
Even though I have one space heater, I use it very sparingly and only if I need a room quickly heated. During my first winter in my new place, I thought it would be cheaper to just use the space heater to heat the one room that I was in instead of heating the whole house. However, my first electric bill was frightening. My mom suggested that I switch back to the central heating system because space heaters consume a lot of energy. The next month, my electric bill went down $30!
Many doors allow air to come in through at the base. Invest in a draft blocker to keep that chilly air out!
Avoid the microwave.
Cooking dinner on the stove, in the oven, or in a crockpot will generate more heat in your home than a microwave. Even when I make a cup of tea, I warm the water in a pot on the stove, instead of heating the cup in the microwave. After I bake something in the oven, I leave the door open to let the remaining heat warm the kitchen.
Use thicker curtains.
My house has a lot of windows, which gives great views but is not very efficient. In the winter, I keep my curtains closed at night to keep as much heat from escaping and open them on sunny days to let the sun naturally heat my home.
Reverse your fans.
This is one of the easiest ways to winterize your home. Just get a step ladder and flip the switch on the base of your fan to pull warm air down.
Buy a dryer lint trap kit.
With 5 children in my mom’s house, there was always a load of laundry going. In the winter, all the heat from the dryer is just sent outside when it could be heating the house. We got a dryer Lint Trap Kit. You put some water in the bottom of the bucket to collect lint, connect your dryer hose to the bucket, and do laundry as you normally would. At my mom’s house, the lint trap would raise the temperature of the house by 3 degrees.
Identify Natural Humidifiers
Because winter weather is so dry, many people (including myself) invest in humidifiers to add moisture to the air, but they can also raise your energy bill. If you have a humidifier or not, there are several humidifiers already in your home to be aware of.
- Dishwasher- the steam from your dishwasher. In the summertime, I run my dishwasher at night to keep from heating the house, but, in the winter, I run it when I’m home and awake.
- Cooking on the stove- pretty much anything you can on the stove is going to create steam and add moisture to the air.
- Shower- try putting a little eucalyptus or peppermint oil behind your ears to open your nasal passageways
- Drink warm beverages- hot chocolate, tea, coffee, etc. all release steam into the air.
Have any other ways to winterize your house and save money your heating bill? Share them in the comments.