Enjoy this scene from inside - and leave the cold outside.
Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Seemingly every December, January, February - and sometimes March (in most states) is bombarded with a need to beat Old Man Winter with intense heat. Of course, that one time a month - when the monetary chickens come home to roost - you literally pay for making the indoors not reflect the bone-chilling outdoors. Believe it or not - there are ways to curb this tide by not having a lot of money go to pay for heating and gas - and at the same time keep you warm from the blustering, stop-you-in-your-tracks cold.
1. Set your thermostat at a comfortable, yet affordable, temperature. The prevailing thought is to be as hot as possible when the temperature outdoors dips lower. However, if you keep your house at a decent setting (say - 68 degrees), you, and your wallet, will be happy in the long run.
2. It's cool - if not a romantic trigger - to have your fireplace blazing in the wintertime. However, it doesn't truly keep the rest of your house warm. "But I still will save," you may say. True. in the short term. Eventually, you will have to clean out your chimney - and that cost may run you to such a degree (between $100-$300) that the savings would be considered null and void.
3. A space heater may be good. However, they may cause health damage to you and your family. Plus, it serves a silmilar purpose to that of a fireplace - heating only a certain area. If you have a small area, then invest in one. However, do your research before you purchase one. Otherwise, your space heater may be bad for your health.
4. One of the greatest enemies of
the winter is an occasioanal draft. A good indictation of a drafty house doesn't always have to come via windows or doors. It can come by actually how cold the floor may be to your bare feet. In this case, weatherstripping your house, or caulking certain areas would do the trick in not having your body receive a chill from your feet all the way to your head. You actually should wear socks or slippers around the house. but that's a different topic for another day.
5. One of the best times to redecorate your home is during the winter! You heard right. Heavy drapes could aid in insulating your home. Of course - be careful that it hangs around baseboard heating or radiators (that is a fire hazard). When a particular part of the house is facing the sun, expose your house to the rays. If you have ceiling fans, switch them to 'winter mode' (or have the blades rotate in a clockwise fashion - pushing the rising heat back downward).
6. Electric blackets use very little energy. Compared to a blanket weighing the same in a higher temperature room, it is more energy efficient to have an electric heated blanket.
7. For all your houshold utility bills - heating your water accounts for, on average, 18% of it. You can set your electric water heater thermostat to 120 degrees - instead of the Environmental Protection Agency's default setting of 140 degrees. Also purchase a water heater insulation blanket ($20) and wrap it around your water heater all year long. Do not use a household blanket, though.
So there you have it. These are tips that can reduce those ridiculously high ultility bills in the winter. These simple steps could save you money - and still live wonderfully comfortable during the coldest time of the year.
Category: Personal Finance