It can be hard to keep your home warm in the winter without racking up home heating bills. When it comes to properly insulating your home and shoring it against the cold, every option can seem expensive and time-consuming. However, there are many ways to keep comfortable in the winter and save money at the same time. Here are some of the best ways to keep your home toasty this winter without going for broke.
Switch to Propane
While electric heat might seem like the best and most cost-efficient deal, in many parts of the country, propane is the best fuel for the job. In terms of heating your home, one gallon of propane is equal to about 24 hour’s worth of electric heat in terms of energy usage, making it superior for the long haul. In addition to being more cost-efficient, propane is also readily available from local providers across the country. Whether you’re using Quarles delivered fuels or a local home goods store, it shouldn’t be a challenge to find someone who will help you with the details of switching over.
Seal Everything Up
Even the smallest drafts can create problems when it comes to heating. If your windows are improperly sealed, not weather stripped, or lack insulation around the borders, they could be letting in large pockets of cold air. This goes double for all the parts of your home that have access to the outside world, including doors, electrical sockets, attic ceilings, furnaces, and chimneys. In short: Wherever air can get in, you’ll want to stop it in its tracks. Insulate all the vulnerable areas of your home and re-seal doors and windows for maximum protection.
Use Small Heating Units
For smaller rooms or overnight, it’s always a great idea to use smaller heating units rather than blasting the heat. Plugging in a space heater for an hour or so can be enough to fill a tight space with hot air that will keep the room toasty for a few hours at least. This is ideal for workspaces or bedrooms with one window or less. Even using a space heater in larger rooms, in conjunction with sealing up all windows and hanging heavier, darker drapes in place of light shades, can be enough to heat a room up sufficiently for a time.
Control Your Home’s Temperature Remotely
Switching to a remotely controlled thermostat system is a great way to gain greater precision in heating and cooling your home, as well as ensuring that you don’t waste any energy or fuels. Digital thermostats, or ‘smart’ thermostats, are able to read your home and gain information that will allow it to more effectively regulate the temperature, especially when no one is at home. They’re also extremely affordable and are becoming more technologically sophisticated by the day. There’s no reason to waste heating on a space that no one’s in, and having a remotely programmed thermostat or digital temperature system is a great way to ensure that you’re not paying for heat you’re not using.
Use Dark Drapes or Window Coverings
For homes with larger windows that offer a greater chance of escaping air, using dark, heavy drapes is a great way to keep heat in and cold air out. Window tinting is also a great way to protect the home not just from cold air, but fading and sun damage as well. Many reversible drapes can be found at local home improvement stores and can be switched from dark material to light in the summer in order to keep the home cool. This is a perfect option for older homes that feature floor-to-ceiling windows or other large, drafty openings that are hard to fully seal up.
Use Plastic Trim and Door Thresholds
When it comes to leaks, doors are often the worst culprit. Each time a door is opened in your home, an unavoidable gust of cold air is let in. This can be mostly avoided by installing a door sweep, which attaches to the bottom of the door and traps out not only cold air, but dirt, snow, and any other unpleasant outside elements that you don’t want entering your home. Plastic trim is also a great way to seal up hard-to-insulate areas. By attaching plastic to windows and other vulnerable areas and shrinking them to fit each space with a hair dryer or other heated appliance, it’s easy to get an air-tight, leak-proof fit that won’t leave any of your rooms drafty.