Here’s how I know I’m getting older:
- I keep finding these frizzy, gray hairs. I’m only 32, y’all!! Is this normal??
- Also, I the other day I found myself daydreaming about horticulture, and longing to visit some flower museum to admire all the species of flowers, which for most of my life have been very boring!
- Finally, I constantly say, “Is there a draft in here? I’m freezing. Are you freezing?”
But seriously, y’all. It IS C.O.L.D. here. This is North Carolina. I didn’t sign up for 16 degree (F) wind chill!!
If you’re like me, when you get that heating bill in the mail, you cringe and wonder if they put the decimal in the wrong place. No one wants to spend $500 a month just to stay warm! Do they?? How to save money on heating costs is a constant question in the winter. Let’s go through some good options.
Keeping the thermostat low can definitely save you money. Some estimate that lowering it by 3-4 degrees can you save you about 10% a month. But once you’ve turned that thermostat down, how can you stay warm? Here are my tips to stay warm in a freezing cold house, without being miserable and freezing your you know what off.
- Use the fire. Wood-burning is best, but if you have a gas fire (like we do) use it only at prime times for your family (coldest times of day, when you won’t be leaving for a while) Also, close off all the doors to other rooms, and lower the thermostat when you use it. Used effectively and in limited amounts, it can save money. BEWARE of those chimneys, though! You’ll never believe What came out of ours!
- Bundle up. Obvious, but if you want to set that thermostat lower, you have to. I recently read that you lose 98% of your body heat through your head. So wear that hat in the house! We also wear slippers constantly. My young boys like these from L.L. Bean. I have a pair of boot slippers similar to these from Amazon. Also, there is nothing wrong with wearing a vest or jacket around for a little while!
- Get moving. Ready for the win-win? It’s exercise! Bundle up for a brisk walk outdoors, or do an indoor exercise video. Even jumping jacks count. I’m always amazed at how quickly I warm up by moving around. It’s not too late to join my 40-Day Fitness Challenge!
- Get working! (Notice a theme?) My favorite “I’m freezing” chore is vacuuming my floors. It’ll really warm you up! Unfortunately, in the blazing inferno of summer you still have to vacuum. Oh well. Can’t win ’em all.
- Insulate places in your home where you’re using energy. I saw on TV that you can hire some energy expert to come tell you all the places you’re losing heat. You can do that, but I have cheaper way. Just hold your hand around the doors and windows on a cold day or use a lit candle to check for drafts. Wherever you feel cold air coming through, you have a leak. 🙂 Once you’ve identified the energy leaks, you can insulate using weather stripping. You can also use pillows and blankets as a nice temporary buffer.
Hey, it’s not pretty, but it works. And don’t forget about curtains and blinds, which are a necessity for cold houses.
- Determine where your home is warmer during times of the day, and hang out there. I realized we have a toasty warm playroom in the mornings, so we rearranged our daily schedule to be up there. Easy, peasy.
- Use a programmable thermostat. (Or, watch the thing like a hawk.) I’m going to confess something. I actually do not use our programmable thermostat. I know that’s one of the “rules” of energy-saving homes, but I just didn’t like the one we had. I found it very difficult to change it, like when we were going out of town, or when I knew we could further lower/raise it to save energy. Since I am home during the day, it’s more effective for me to manually adjust based on how the house feels, and what I know the weather will do later on in the day. If you have suggestions for an awesome programmable thermostat, leave them in the comments!
- Leave your oven open after you bake something. (Just not if you have little ones running around!)
What are your tips to save energy costs and stay warm?
*This post is linked at Homemade Mondays at Being Frugal By Choice, at Homestead Barn Hop at Homestead Revival, at Fabulously Frugal Thursday at A Life in Balance, at Simple Lives Thursday at My Humble Kitchen.