In south Louisiana, we seldom know when or how long Ol’ Man Winter will drop by. While we may be able to spend most of the designated season in shorts and flip flops, there are occasions when we must turn on the heater. That can lead to rising energy bills and less money to spend on king cakes.
It’s helpful to have some quick tricks to cheaply warm your home. These simple projects can be done in a few minutes to a few hours and can provide relief from the cold and those rising heating bills.
1) Install weather stripping.
Seal the gaps around doors and windows to make your home feel warmer and to save on energy bills.
2) Install a door sweep.
Prevent cold or hot air from blowing under your door while reducing the risk of door rot or rust.
3) Close the damper.
Unless you have gas logs, close your fireplace damper when you are not burning a fire. Make sure any fire has been completely extinguished before closing the flue. Additionally, glass doors on the front of a fireplace can improve airtightness and cut out on some drafts.
4) Install a programmable thermostat.
Take advantage of more control options with a programmable thermostat to save on heating and cooling expenses. Many models now allow access via cell phone apps.
5) Set the temperature manually and leave it.
Instead of setting the thermostat for your comfort, set the temperature to 68° in the daytime to reduce energy usage by 5-15% percent. You can also set it lower at night and use blankets for warmth.
6) Lower the hot water temperature.
Energy.gov recommends your water heater temperature be set to 120° to slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes. You’ll also prevent scalding at this temperature.
7) Set ceiling fan blades for winter.
Running a ceiling fan in the winter might seem strange, but it directs warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and back to the floor. Adjust your ceiling fan blades to rotate clockwise at a low speed to pull cool air up during the winter.
Take a few moments to tend to some of these projects. You’ll create a warmer home and curtail some of the increased heat expenses. Whether winter makes a visit for a weekend or stays for an extended time, you’ll be ready to weather whatever comes.
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