6 Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Warm This Winter
Winter is officially here, and the holiday season is in full swing. Unfortunately, the holidays often go hand-in-hand with harsh winter weather. When the mercury drops to single digits, it’s tempting just to turn the thermostat up. While that will certainly keep you warm during the cold months, it’s probably not the greenest solution for winter heating. With that in mind, here are six simple things you can do to stay warm without turning the heat up this winter.
Eco-Friendly Tip #1 – Open the Curtains for Bright, Sunny Days
Similar to the way closing the blinds in the summer can keep your house cooler, opening them on sunny winter days can add some indoor warmth. If some rooms get direct sunlight, letting in some rays can raise the indoor temperature by several degrees. This can be an inexpensive yet effective way to warm your home.
Eco-Friendly Tip #2 – Use the Oven Strategically
There’s a reason so many winter comfort foods are dishes that require long, slow cooking. They’re not only satisfying to the stomach, but they’re also a good way to warm your house. If you’re already planning a pot of soup or a slow-baked casserole, try to make it during the coldest part of the day. If you know the weather’s going to be particularly bad, consider making a meal that requires a longer cooking time.
Eco-Friendly Tip #3 – Reverse Ceiling Fans
If your home is equipped with ceiling fans, you already have a great tool on hand for changing the temperature without adjusting the thermostat. While most people only think of them for cooling, most ceiling fans have a switch that lets you reverse the blades’ direction. Ceiling fans that operate in a clockwise direction circulate rising heat that would otherwise be trapped near the ceiling.
Eco-Friendly Tip #4 – Choose the Right Window Treatment
The right window treatment can go a long way toward keeping the cold out and the heat in, and heavy drapes can add an extra layer of insulation between you and the outdoors. This is especially true in older homes with single-pane windows. Uncovered windows can let in cold when the sun isn’t shining, but heavy drapes keep the cold trapped against the window.
Eco-Friendly Tip #5 – Decorate With Rugs
Bare floors, like unclad windows, are another sneaky way for the cold to get in. If you don’t have carpet, area rugs can provide insulation between your feet and frigid floors. From large area rugs that cover half of a room to small throw rugs at the bedside, all rugs have their place. Heated floor mats can even offer the benefit of radiant heating in particularly cold areas.
Eco-Friendly Tip #6 – Chase Down Sneaky Drafts
While you’ve probably sealed your doors and windows, cold drafts sometimes occur in places you’d never think of. The areas around electrical outlets and switches are common culprits, and even ceiling fans sometimes let cold air in around their bases. Every tiny bit of cold air makes a difference when the weather is frigid, so caulking or insulating around outlets and fan bases makes a big difference.
Keeping the thermostat on low doesn’t mean you have to shiver. These simple tips can add a little warmth without adding to your energy footprint.