Winter is here, and with it, higher utility bills. You all know better than anybody that staying warm in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Baltimore is a constant grind. Below zero temperatures and blustering winds make it a full-time job.
But there are ways to keep your apartment warm without worrying about how you’re going to pay your heating bills. Whether it’s letting the sun in during the day or trapping precious heat inside your apartment at night, these tips will keep you cozy as the temperatures start to fall.
With Coronavirus back on the warpath, you’ll probably be spending most of the winter indoors. But that doesn’t mean you have to freeze the whole time. So grab a hot chocolate, snuggle up, and get to work on these ten tips on how to stay energy efficient this winter.
Keep Your Blinds Open During the Day
The cheapest way to get your heat is from that giant burning ball in the sky. Open your curtains and let the sun into your comfy abode. The more windows you have, the better. Sun gets trapped inside your house during the day and acts as a natural healer, so ditch the shade.
Close the Curtains at Night
Once the sun has finished its blazing, it’s time to add some defenses against the long, cold night. When the sun sinks low and the temperatures drop, your windows aren’t great at keeping heat inside. Closing your curtains at night ensures that you retain the heat you already have in your house.
Rid Your Home of Leaks and Drafts
The most cost-effective way to lower your heat bill is by air-sealing your home. Reducing air leakage cuts down on drafts and goes a long way to keep you toasty in the cold. The three primary locations for significant air leakage are doors, windows, and basements.
For doors, check the weather sealing around the frame. Use plastic wrap to fill the frame of windows. Window film is an easy, cheap method that requires little to no labor to remove in the spring. Use foam or caulk to seal basement leaks.
Break Out the Blankets and the Sweaters
Some people love winter fashion; others hate it. But if you love wearing hoodies and beanies, you’re already halfway to saving yourself some money. Limiting your heating time will also limit your heating bill.
At night, throw an extra two or three blankets on the bed and turn the heat down. Small sacrifices go a long way.
Keep Good Airflow
It’s no shock that ceiling fans keep you cool in the summer, but most people have no idea they can keep you warm in the winter.
Most ceiling fans have a switch on them that allows you to control which way they spin. In the summer, ceiling fans rotate counter-clockwise, swooshing the air downwards to create a chilling effect. If you reverse that motion, the fan sucks wind upwards, circulating the warmer air that accumulates nearer your ceiling and warming the room.
Space heaters are a cheaper alternative to running the heat all day. These devices are especially useful for smaller areas like your bedroom. Invest in a space heater, turn off the house heating system at night, and run your space heater. You’ll be as toasty as a biscuit.
Use the Heat From Your Oven Wisely Running your oven all day is an enormous waste of energy. But if you’re already cooking, you want to get the most out of the energy you’re using. Once finished cooking your meal, leave the oven open to draft heat into the surrounding areas. You’ll have a hot kitchen to go with your hot meal.
Reset Your Water Heater Thermostat
Your water heater uses a substantial amount of energy that costs a lot of money. When you set your water heater temperature, the heater keeps the water at that temperature for the entire day.
Reducing your water heater temperature by only a few degrees can save you a decent amount of money on your energy bill.
Think about it, do you need the shower to be scalding hot every morning? Do you turn the faucet to its hottest setting, or is that too hot for your hands? If it is too hot, you know you can decrease the temperature by a few degrees.
Close the Doors and Vents in Unused Rooms
Whether it’s the guest bedroom or your living room, the door should be closed if you’re not using it. The same goes for vents. If you leave doors and vents open, the heater has to work harder to heat those rooms. And if you’re not using those rooms, why would you want to pay to heat them?
Use LEDs For Your Christmas Lights Show
The holidays are past, but many of us enjoy keeping strings of lights up past Christmas or even year-round. Regardless of if you're using them as strictly holiday decorations or not, consider buying LED lights instead.
LED lights use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. They might cost a little bit extra up-front, but if you’re a fan of wowing the neighborhood with your holiday decor and you leave the lights running to impress, or if you're planning on leaving the lights up for longer than the month or two around the holidays, you’ll make up the difference in the long run.
Keep Your Pocket Book Warm and Cozy This Winter
Using these ten tips this winter will help you in your quest to remain warm without having to go broke. These tips are all simple, cost-effective methods that reduce how much you’ll spend on heating this winter. But the best part, none of them require you to freeze to death.
If you’re a resident and would like to discover more helpful tips on how to get the most out of renting with Pangea, check out our residents’ page. For more useful information on lifestyle, visit our blog!