Heating a home is becoming more and more expensive these days. Especially during winter months, high energy costs can break budgets, or leave little money for other expenses. If you’re finding that money is tight, and your energy bill is climbing, there is no need to panic.
You can keep your home warm this winter and without sending all of your money to the utilities company. Here are several affordable ways to repair your home to conserve energy and stay warm.
Four Ways to Stay Warm on a Budget!
1. Block the bottom of your doors.
Lots of heat can be lost through the external doors of your home. Make sure there are no drafts getting in. Buy insulated weather strips at a local hardware store to helpkeep heat in your home when the door is closed. Installing these insulated buffers around the border of the door is a simple and affordable way to lower your heating.
You can also make your own draft stoppers using old towels or flannel sheets. Sew them into a tube shape, fill them with rice and push them up against the bottom of your door.
2. Use the sun.
Radiant heating can be a great way to warm your home. During the daylight hours when the sun is shining brightly, keep window dressings open so the sun can shine in and warm it up naturally.
Keep the curtains or blinds closed at night to keep the heat in. Thick curtains act as an extra insulating layer between the windows and your rooms. They will help prevent heat loss when the sun isn’t shining.
3. Clean your Furnace and Ducts.
Many people do not realize how much dirt can reduce the efficiency of their furnace. Experts recommend that furnace filters be changed at the beginning of the heating season, and once a month during continued use. This will help your heater operate more efficiently, and save you on your energy bill.
Unsure how long it has been since the blower and blower motor were cleaned? It may be a good idea to have that done as well. This will allow the furnace to circulate the warm air better through your home.
Heating ducts should be periodically cleaned too, to reduce the dust pushed into the air of your home, and improving air flow.
4. Get a programmable thermostat.
One of the best energy saving investments you can make this winter is a programmable thermostat. Costing as little as $25 they allow thermostat temperatures to be programmed to a schedule.
Set a lower temperature for times when you are typically out of the house or sleeping. Then raise it just before coming home. You can save a lot of money in heating by doing this simple thing. Some even allow adjustments so weekends are heated differently than weekends.
As the cost of heating rises, take the time to invest in little repairs that will save you money in the long run. By controlling your energy expenses you can give your budget a better chance of survival, and keep more money in your pocket for winter fun and gifts.
Marlena Stoddard writes on budgeting and home improvement. This article was a result of some research she did after her husband complained that she kept their home’s heater way too high (he was wrong, by the way…).
If you want to learn more about budgeting and getting in better control of your finances, take a look at The Budget Kit, a very popular book on Amazon.