Stay warm and reduce your electric bill with these simple tips

After the latest polar vortex in Central Ohio, you may be looking for ways to stay warm. When wind chills hit -20 degrees or lower, it can be hard to keep those drafts out of your house. Energy bills skyrocket just to barely keep your home warm! Making use of a few simple techniques can not only make your home warmer but at a lesser cost. In sub-zero climate, it’s all about being efficient and directing energy where it is needed most.

Here is a list of 8 practical ways to keep your home warmer:

1. Rugs

If you prefer hardwood in your home, you may be spending more to stay warm. Rugs help insulate rooms and trap heat. Plus, they are much friendlier on bare feet. If you don’t want rugs all year round, consider getting winter rugs for your most used rooms. When it is below zero outside, rugs can make a significant difference in the amount of energy needed to keep your home comfortable.

2. Draft Excluders and Curtains

Draft excluders are crucial when sub-zero winds are whipping outside. Windows can even begin to feel like ice cubes, which effectively cool your house. Covering these windows with thick curtains and draft excluders will prevent them from cooling your home down. Saving money on your energy bill is mostly about preventing heat from escaping and preventing cold air from entering.

3. Unused Rooms

For your least used rooms close the air vents and doors. Additionally, place some draft excluders under these doors. This will help keep your house warm without needing to run your heat for a more extended amount of time. In times like a polar vortex, this might be required to at least get some of the rooms in your house comfortable. It all depends on the quality of your insulation and windows. Many homes in Central Ohio are very old and lack sufficient insulation to keep homes toasty during a polar vortex.

4. Adjust Thermostat at Night

This could seem obvious, but it is worthy of emphasis. Adjusting your thermostat by 10 degrees for 8 hours a day saves people on average 10% a year on their energy bill. Consider getting extra flannel blankets and a thick comforter. This might open up some budget to keep the house a little warmer during subzero days! Consider getting a space heater if your room is too cold. These save much more energy compared to heating your whole home all night.

5. Have Ceiling Fans?

During the summer, running fans counterclockwise help suck warmer air to the ceiling. During the winter, running your ceiling fans at low speeds clockwise will keep the warm air away from the ceiling. When it is sub zero, warm air quickly rises. If you have ceiling fans, this is an extremely effective way of saving money and keeping the home warm. This combined with rugs will make a world of difference!

6. Get A Humidifier

If you weren’t aware, moist air holds heat better than dry air! Winter months tend to cause extremely dry air in the home, making them feel even colder. Making your home a bit more humid will make a massive difference in temperature and save you money! It costs much less to run a small humidifier than a furnace!

7. Reconsider Exhaust Fans

If you are in the habit of using exhaust fans every time you cook or use the restroom, it may be time to reconsider during the winter months. Exhaust fans suck the hot air near the ceiling right out of your home. You could be wasting energy and keeping your house cool just by using these fans. Consider only using these in emergencies during the winter months!

8. Change Furnace Filters Regularly

Consider changing your filters more often during winter months. The clearer these filters are, the less energy is needed to heat your home. Filters are cheap and can significantly affect your energy bill.