Green Living: Fight the Freeze
Even though Spring is just around the corner, it doesn’t feel like it. Many of us are still stuck with cold weather and our heating bills are getting downright uncomfortable. So let’s fight the freeze together with these five bill-shaving, energy-saving tips!
Tip 1: The Simple Stuff
Let’s get the easy advice out of the way first. Wear layers of clothing. Wear thick socks. Have a blanket in the living room. Use a heated blanket. All of these little things will keep you warm without having to pump up the heat.
Tip 2: Watch the Windows
Windows may let fresh air in, but they also let heat out. During the winter, hang heavy drapes over your windows to keep the heat from escaping. Don’t, however, keep the drapes closed all the time. Whenever your windows get plenty of sun, open the drapes and let that natural, lovely, and (most important of all) free heat flow right into your home.
Tip 3: Don’t Block the Flow
Where does the heat in your home come from? Floor vents? Ceiling vents? Radiator? Whatever the output, make sure you aren’t hampering your home’s heat by blocking the flow of that warm air. Often a chair or cabinet will be blocking a vent and decreasing its effectiveness. Make sure to clear those away and let the heat flow.
Tip 4: Be a Fan
Hot air rises, which in Winter is problematic. It just floats up there on the ceiling while you freeze down below. But if you reverse the direction of your ceiling fan (which is controlled by a small toggle switch on the fan itself) and run it on low speed, you’ll force all that warm air back down!
Tip 5: Look for the Leaks
Poorly fitted windows, loose vents, doors that let in drafts – all of these create chinks in your home’s winter armor. When it comes to losing heat this way, there’s really no one solution to the problem, because it’s actually a bunch of different problems. Instead, I recommend you check out this site from EnergyStar.gov. It provides detailed information about improving the heating efficiency of your home.
Thanks to Tom Heyden of BBC New Magazine, Trent of the Simple Dollar, Jane McLean of About.com, and Sarah Lonsdale of The Telegraph.