We’re still in the thick of winter with days that are chilly and nights that are even colder. By now you’re probably growing tired of feeling frigid and even more tired of the increased energy use that’s needed to warm up your home.
The U.S. Energy Department recommends keeping the thermostat at 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter for optimal energy savings, but that isn’t comfortable for some people. If you’re in that group we’ve created this list for you. In addition to winterizing your home, here are three surefire ways to warm up without increasing the heat and energy costs.
Layer on the Clothing Where It Counts
The easiest and cheapest way to warm up without cranking up the heat is to layer on clothing. You may have heard this advice before, but there’s a key point that could influence what you wear.
There are three spots on our bodies that are more susceptible to the cold. The palms of the hands, bottoms of feet and cheeks feel the cold more than other places on the body because the blood vessels don’t constrict with the cold. When cold is applied to these spots of the body it causes heat removal at the skin surface, which cools body temperature. During the hot summers this is a benefit, but during the winter it can make you feel even colder. Wearing gloves and keeping your cheeks covered may not be possible, but thick socks can make a big difference in heating up without a heater.
Strategically Place Portable Space Heaters That Provide Direct Heat Using Less Energy
It may seem like using a space heater isn’t the best way to save energy since they run off of electricity. However, if the choice is between using a portable space heater or turning up the central heat, the space heater is usually the better option.
This is definitely the case when there’s just one person needing warmth in a specific location of your house. The portable space heater doesn’t spread warmth around. Instead it provides direct heat exactly where you need it. To conserve the most energy possible, opt for a smaller space heater that’s appropriately sized. Other energy efficient features to look for include temperature controls, eco settings and scheduling capabilities. You may also want to consider heaters that can oscillate if you want the heat dispersed throughout a room.
Does your home have a fireplace? The fireplace is essentially a fixed space heater that can be used when you’re in the room. If you have one, read through these five tips to get more warmth out of your fireplace.
Make Adjustments at the Windows to Keep Heat Inside
A lot of heat escapes and cold gets in around the windows. Even if you’ve weatherized, there are a number of ways you can make adjustments to the windows to keep the warmth inside.
- Invest in heavy blackouts curtains with a thermal lining or thermal curtains.
- Keep curtains closed most of the day, particularly at night.
- Open up curtains when sunlight is streaming through the window.
- If the temperature outside exceeds the inside temp, then open the windows.
- Move furniture away from the window where it’s colder.
- Use draft blockers at the bottom of the window frame where it opens.
- Use a window film to increase the insulating factor of the glass.
- Consider using removable caulk at the bottom of windows you don’t plan to open during the winter.
- Cut vegetation back from windows to let more light and heat in.
One last thing regarding the windows. Always make sure all windows are properly closed in the winter. They should be locked to ensure they are fully sealed. And if you have storm windows check to make sure they’re shut correctly as well.
Want more ways to save on energy during the winter? Provider Power helps customers lower the cost of energy with detailed usage information, expert resources and attentive personal assistance. Making the switch to Provider Power is easy – start by using your zip code to find energy plans in your area.