This is a fabulous guest post shared with us by Kacey Bradley. Check out her bio at the end of this post!
The cold air seeps through the doors, windows and walls to pierce your skin to the bone. When it’s bone cold outside, you should be able to huddle up in a warm house and forget the deep chill. The cold weather cannot be avoided, but what can you do to solve the problem without spending more than you have?
Unfortunately, poor insulation also leads to rising energy bills as winter sets in. Won’t it cost more to fix the insulation? You also worry about what environmental ramifications such big changes may have. The good news is that there are affordable, easy and eco-friendly ways to keep your home warm and toasty:
- Dress Your Windows to Impress
Layer your windows with thick floor-sweeping curtains like they’re attending the royal ball. Upcycle old fabrics or visit the thrift store to give beautiful curtains a new home.
If your heat comes out of the floor, avoid covering the vents. Leave a few inches so the air will flow. The cold air will stay behind the curtains, and the warm air will spread around the house.
- Micro-Insulate Yourself and Your Surroundings
Your house doesn’t feel the cold — you do. Micro-insulate yourself and the surroundings you most often use. So, put on your warmest sweater, the one that reaches down to your knuckles. Curl up under your grandmother’s quilt with a hot cup of Joe.
Place a canopy on your bed. Dress your desk in a fashionable skirt to keep your legs warm. Shut doors to rooms that aren’t being used. Micro-insulate cold tile or wood floors by adding area rugs.
- Focus on Eco-Friendly Home Insulation
Simple home insulation projects can keep your heating costs down and reduce the efforts of your thermostat to make up for lost energy. Besides dressing your windows, keep the cold air out by filling in air gaps with caulk. Use your hand to feel around the window for leaking air, and focus on filling in any cracks. While this is a temporary solution, it’ll hold for the cold season.
Do the same process for your doors. Don’t forget to add insulating strips to inside doors as well.
When it comes to the garage door, does insulation make a difference? Yes. This one door takes up a huge percentage of space, and insulating your garage door leads to lower cooling and heating costs. According to Thomas Liquori in this article for Cookson Door Sales of Arizona, typical garage door insulation is either polyurethane (injected for insulated protection) or polystyrene (a sandwiched layer of insulation). He brings out how this will also reduce the impact of excessive outside noise, such as interstate traffic. Plus, as he mentions, when you insulate your garage, you’ll have additional comfortable space in your home to transform into work or recreational space.
- Prioritize Heat Use in High Traffic Rooms
Purchasing plug-in electric heaters can help heat a space, but if you’re relying on them in every room, you probably won’t notice a decrease in your monthly energy bills. Prioritize your use of heat in high traffic rooms, and shut off spare rooms that are rarely used.
Don’t forget to close the heating vents, too, to redirect valuable heat. If you need to use these rooms, later on, all you have to do is reopen the vents and doors.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat
How do you know if your home’s energy is being used optimally? Is the temperature on the thermostat, right? Instead of tapping the thermostat to get a more accurate guess, invest in a programmable thermostat to know for sure and save energy.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set it to reduce the temperature at the time you leave home automatically. Reducing the temperature by ten degrees can shave up to 15 percent off your energy bill annually. Who are you keeping warm while you’re away, anyway? It doesn’t hurt to unplug unused items either.
Saving energy in winter doesn’t mean turning down your thermostat and spending the season freezing. Focus on heating yourself, sealing up air leaks and prioritizing your heat use. These tips will help you conserve energy and stay warm in the cold weather.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!