Home Heating This Winter
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your heating bill down this winter is to turn down the thermostat. This means cooler temperatures in the house but there are several things you can do to help keep your family cozy and warm while saving money at the same time.
Be proactive – Plug drafts with caulking and weather stripping, replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed, make sure baseboard and floor air registers are unobstructed and clean, and close off unneeded rooms to trap heat where you need it. If you have any bubble wrap lying around from packages and shipments you received you can place it inside windows and it acts as an insulator. Put clear plastic dome covers over basement window wells to trap debris, keep cold air out, and allow light in.
Blankets – Now is a great time to dig out all those extra blankets. Use a couple underneath on top of your mattresses and underneath your fitted sheets to make a soft and warm pillow top for the bed. Heavy blankets and quilts can be hung inside window frames with adjustable shower rods to insulate and stop drafts. Thin blankets and even baby blankets can be rolled up lengthwise and then placed in front of doors and windows to act as homemade draft protectors. Blankets can also be draped over leather couches and chairs to keep to keep them warm and toasty. Hang some decorative quilts on walls to provide extra insulation.
Sweaters – Take a trip to the local thrift store and pick up some cheap, 100% wool sweaters. Wool is great for helping you regulate body temperature. You can wear the sweater if they are the appropriate size but you can convert them into MANY other useful products. You can sew up quick and easy wool pants for babies and toddlers using the sleeves as legs. Diaper covers can be made the same way just cut the legs short. Wool works wonderfully for diaper covers because it is naturally waterproof. You can also use the wool to make pillowcases or even doing a patch job to make blankets and sheets. Wool is also naturally flame retardant so it is a great bedding alternative. Slippers, socks, do-rags, and scarves can also be fashioned from old wool sweaters.
Get Knitting – Speaking of home crafting why not use the winter lull to learn how to knit or crochet. Then you can make scarves, hats, and gloves that will keep you warm in winter and give you something enjoyable to do. Handknit items are also great as gifts! Take a class with a friend if you can and you won’t be sorry you did.
Rugs – Buy several rugs at second hand or discount stores and place them on cold floors so that no one gets a chill walking on them. You can make handmade rag rugs from worn sheets and old t-shirts too. A big rug on the tile floor in the bathroom can make a BIG difference.
Just get creative and you can find many ways to warm things up and save money.