By Kayleigh Yerdon, Summer Intern 2015, Cornell University Happy winter to our readers in the Northern Hemisphere! Welcome to the season of ice, snow, and savings! Wait, what? Savings? You’re probably thinking, how does winter correlate with saving money?
Our answer is: if it doesn’t yet, this is the article for you. The best part is that you can be warm all winter and still save money! Here are some surefire ways to start saving money in this frigid, snowy season:
- Fun Fact: for every degree you set your thermostat back for a period of eight hours, you’ll save almost 1% on your heating bill each year.
So, our piece of advice here is to start using a programmable thermostat. Set it to turn down the heat if you know you’re not home during the days and reset it to turn back on before you normally arrive home! You won’t be home, so you won’t even notice the temperature change, but you’ll still be saving money!
- Drafty? Let’s take care of that.
This one might seem obvious, but spend an hour this weekend checking for drafts in your home! The best places to check are around doors and windows. With some door strips and a little caulk, you could actually end up permanently lowering your heating bill, as more of the heat you put into your house will stay in your house.
- Let’s Get Those Ceiling Fans Running
This tip seems totally counterintuitive, we know. But, many people have actually found that running fans clockwise can actually make a room feel warmer. This is due to the fact that heat rises, so oftentimes (especially in rooms with high ceilings), much of your heat gets trapped where you can’t even feel it. By running your fans slowly and in a clockwise direction, you use less energy than normal, but end up better dispersing the warm air around your home.
- Keep Blinds Closed
Because windows are thin, they ultimately let in more cold air than other areas of your home. So, take advantage of the sunlight and then add an extra layer of insulation by closing blinds and curtains when it’s dark out. This actually has a noticeable effect that could allow you to set your thermostat a little lower.
- Home Cooking
Use your oven and stove! By cooking at home, you not only save money on eating out, but also heat your home a little bit more in the wintertime. Ovens and stoves are not completely insulated and will allow heat to escape into your home, which just puts savings into your pocket in the long run.
- Get a Humidifier
Most furnaces blow out dry air, which holds less warmth than moist air. With a small, inexpensive humidifier, you are restoring the moisture to the air in your home and helping it hold heat more efficiently. So, the heat you pay for will be felt for longer.
- Close Doors to Unused Rooms
Think about your home. Chances are you have closets or rooms that you use much less frequently than others. When you leave these rooms, make sure to close the doors so that they not only hold any heat that they have, but also shrink the air flow within your home, allowing you to retain the heat in other rooms as well. You may even choose to not heat these rooms completely, and use space heaters in the rooms you most frequently use. This can help you save BIG. Extra tip: putting insulation strips under doors to unused rooms also provide energy savings as well.
With these tips, you can brave the cold like a pro and save money while you do it! Good luck!