With the blizzard-like storms ravaging much of the east coast and the Midwest, I found it fitting to write about how to save money when it’s so flipping cold. First, let me say that my thoughts and prayers are with the families that have lost loved ones due to this weather.
Don’t be outside longer than you have to, take extra precautions when you do go outside, and if you see someone who needs help, please, do what you can.
That said, winter can do damage to our finances, from the extra heating costs for our homes, and the gas wasted warming up our vehicles.
There are, however, several ways you can reduce the cost associated with the winter season. Here are some tips to do just that.
Seal up your home
There are few ways you can seal your home for the winter. The first way is to put draft blockers at the bottom of your doors.
Another way is to place “saran wrap” over your windows. You stretch a saran wrap type material over your window and take a blow-dryer to the perimeter, adhering the material to the frame of the window. This prevents leaks in your windows from getting in.
The third way, which isn’t too helpful right now, is to re-caulk your windows. This is done on the outside of your home. Put a bead of caulk around the outside of the window to provide a better seal to keep the cold out and the warm in.
Keep blinds closed
Having the blinds closed provides another layer of protection for your windows. If you have a window or windows that face the direction of sunlight, make sure the blinds are open when the sun is shining in. This provides a good source of solar heat. If the sun isn’t shining in, close those blinds.
Reverse ceiling fan
This one is simple, reverse the direction your ceiling fan spins. There should be a switch near the top of the fan. Doing this will force air from the fan to the ceiling and bounce the warm air down.
Don’t use exhaust fans
Whether you are in the shower or are cooking dinner, keep your exhaust fans off. This forces the warm air in your home outside.
Cook meals at home
By using the oven or stove to cook your meals, you provide additional heat to your home while making dinner for yourself and your family.
Layer up and use blankets
A very easy way to reduce cost during the winter is to keep your thermostat low, and wear sweatshirts, sweatpants, and use blankets to keep yourself warm. This also gives you a great excuse to snuggle with your significant other, your kids or your pets.
Replace your furnace filter
This should be done every year, but if you haven’t done it in a while, please replace your filter. This will increase the quality of the air in your home and enable more warm air to get through those vents.
When lighting up your home with decorations, or lighting up your home in general, use energy-efficient lights. LEDs usually cost more up front but are far less expensive overall. LEDs need fewer watts to produce more light and they also last much longer than normal, incandescent light bulbs.
Here’s my resource for this section.
Get an energy audit and tune-up
An energy audit is an in-depth assessment of your home. They will examine all areas of your home including, doors, windows, and even walls, where heat is escaping.
The tune-up essentially gets your furnace into prime working condition, so you are able to heat your home effectively and efficiently.
Pump up your tires
The tires on your car deflate a little during with colder temperatures. The air inside the tire contracts due to the cold. Put more air into your tires so they are filled to the correct pressure. A correctly filled tire is optimal for gas mileage, which means you stop for gas less often.
Winter and the weather associated with it can be brutal, especially right now. Cold weather also brings about more expenses. Use some or all of these tips to keep yourself and your family warm this winter for less.
So readers, what’s something you do during winter to cut costs?