Over the past week, reality has set in around Chicago, the cold weather is moving in. Some of us love it, others despise it, and a few of us fly south for the winter. For those of us who cannot get away we need to find ways to stay warm and comfortable. My wife and I tend to like winter for the snow and holiday season but we are not fans of the bitter cold. So far, forecasters are predicting a particularly bad winter for us so let us check out some ways to stay warm that save you money.
- Open Your Shades– Every morning I open the shades in the house to let light in to warm the house naturally. Be sure to close them in the evening when the sun goes down for additional insulation
- Seal up Drafty Windows and Doors– Weather-stripping or insulation are the more permanent ways to get rid of drafts but seasonal solutions such as a rolled up towel or blanket along the base of the door or the plastic window seal work wonders
- Bundle Up– It is winter so it is okay to have a sweatshirt on with socks as you wander around the house
- Use rugs– A cold floor is one of the top ways you feel cold. When your feet are cold, the rest of you feels the same way so place rugs where you sit or stand often, especially if you have hardwood or tile flooring
- Electric Blanket – My wife likes to use one on the couch watching TV as our front room is the coolest room in the house. You can also use them to pre warm the bed, another favorite of hers
- Close unused rooms– If you have a large home with unused areas just close the vent and close the door.
- Furnace– Get it cleaned and change the furnace filter. A clean and properly running furnace will make it easier to heat the house and is cheaper on your pocketbook.
- Programmable Thermostat– If you do not have one, you should look into getting one. This is the second item I installed when we moved into our house. It automatically controls the temperature so you are not heating the house as much when you are gone or asleep.
As you can see, you have many options to try to offset the cold temperatures we are going to be getting here in Chicago. Try to use as many as you can and keep those bills low! Feel free to share your money saving tips in the comments section below.