By Fredrica Syren:
Brrrr!!! As much as I love fall, the one thing I don’t like is how cold I feel. Last week we had to turn the heat on in our home. No matter whether you’re trying to keep your home cool or warm, it gets expensive and it’s not very good for the environment. Luckily, there are many easy, cheap and green ways to keep your home warm during winter.
If, like us, you are into frugal and green living, what should you do first? What is the most effective thing to do?
- The first suggestion I offer is to lower your electric bill by keeping lights off when not in the room, lowering the thermostat a couple degrees, and staying warm by putting on a sweater and slippers.
When I was sitting on the floor with the kids one day, I noticed a draft coming from one of the doors. Heat will escape through a draft, so sealing that will make a huge difference because drafts can account for up to 25% of heat loss.
- One very cheap and easy way to prevent a draft from a door is to buy a draft snake or, better yet, to make your own.
- For the sides of doors and windows, use adhesive backed foam that can be found at hardware stores: it’s easy to install.
- Blackout curtains are useful for keeping heat out in the summer months, and insulated curtains can help keep the cold out while retaining warmth inside. You can find these curtains on eBay or make your own.
- Make sure to open your curtains during the middle of the day when it is sunny to let the sun heat up your house.
- Wrap external hot water pipes with insulating tape. This will reduce the heat loss from your hot water tank, as well as reduce the energy needed to get your water hot. The tape can be found at a hardware store and is inexpensive.
- Use flannel sheets.
- Use a wool blanket.
- Wear warm pajamas.
- My favorite way to stay warm while sleeping is to use a hot water bottle. We have a couple that we fill with hot water and place in the beds before going to sleep.
When it’s cold outside, there is nothing better than to gather together with friends and family over warm food such as chili, stews and soups or a cup of hot tea. Or why not cuddle under a blanket since shared body heat just is the best.