During the chilly months of winter, no matter what heat source you use—oil, gas, electricity, or wood—you can cut costs by adopting temporary measures to keep the thermostat turned down. Here are some money-saving tips for cutting the cost of cold snaps. [Note: Some of these tips are only appropriate for above-freezing cold snaps and are not advised for subfreezing temperatures. For tips on how to prevent frozen pipes in subfreezing temperatures click here.]
- Temporarily close off heat to some rooms by shutting doors. (This requires a heating system that can be controlled room by room.) Shut the doors to unheated closets, the pantry, and the basement and attic.
- Hang blankets over the windows at night. Tape or thumbtack the sides and bottom of blankets to the walls or windowsills to maximize the insulation value. (Press the tacks or tape under the bottom of the sill and over the top of the frame to hide any damage to the finish.) Remove the coverings on the south side of the house during the day.
- Cover cracks around doors and windowsills with rugs, newspaper, towels, or other insulation.
- Use electric space heaters in living or work areas. These are more efficient than the furnace for localized heating, and they will allow you to set the thermostat lower for the whole house.
- Put on a sweater.
- Cook a hot meal.
What do you do to save money on heat in your house during the winter? Comment and let us know!