Stay warm without cranking up the heat

Stay warm without cranking up the heat

Stop shivering indoors just because it is cold outside. You do not have to crank up the heat to stay warm.

First, bundle up. Dressing in layers is a great way to keep yourself comfortable without extra heat. Here are five more ways to make your home and yourself more comfortable during winter without increasing your energy use:

1. Identify places in your walls where heated air can escape your home and cold air can get in. Look around windows and doors. Find penetrations on the indoor side of exterior walls where cables, cords and wires come into the house. Search for cracks around baseboards. Check the hatch leading to the attic. Then caulk liberally.

2. Invest in a smart thermostat allowing you to program it to lower the heat when you go to bed, raise it just before everyone wakes up, turn itself down again when the family leaves for the day, and warm up the house before you return at dinnertime. You could save 10 percent or more on your heating bill.

3. Maintain your heating system. Hire a tech to inspect your HVAC for inefficiencies or hidden problems. Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly.

4. Scatter area rugs in rooms without carpets. They can prevent heat from escaping through the floor. They also feel warmer to walk on.

5. Open the drapes on sunny days to let natural daylight and the sun’s warmth into your rooms. Close them when the sun sets and it gets cooler outdoors.

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