DIY Tips On Staying Warm This Winter

Plenty of homeowners and renters believe that they can’t stay warm while also keeping their utility bills low during winter. The truth is that it’s actually easy to live comfortably in winter while on a budget.

Beyond dressing wisely and investing in clearance or gently used thrift store afghans, quilts and other blankets for extra warmth when relaxing and sleeping, anyone can perform these following three D-I-Y steps to stay warm:

Seal Gaps Around the House

Cold air typically seeps in and hot air escapes via gaps around windows and doors, skylights, electrical outlets, vents and indoor-to-outdoor wiring spots for cable and phone lines.

A non-cracking, waterproof sealant designed for the specific spot, such as molding and trim sealant, is easy to apply and dries fast. Sealing these gaps offers the added bonus of keeping out pests like insects and mice that try to find warm shelter inside of homes.

Perform Maintenance on the Heating System

Too much dust and dirt in an HVAC system or materials pulled into a vent by a rodent or bird can block off warm air and/or damage parts that help it work at optimal levels. Old batteries in a thermostat or merely an old, poorly working thermostat can cause the system to turn off before it reaches a preset temperature.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the system and vents, and replace batteries every season. If the system has a classic round dial thermostat, remove it and rewire the system with a programmable digital one.

Set Up Several Portable Heaters

Portable heaters can help reduce electric bills when used as supplemental heating sources as needed. For example, instead of turning up the temperature on the furnace thermostat before taking a shower, use a portable heater to quickly heat up the space without wasting fuel on heating unused rooms. A heater can also help someone stay warm when using a shed or garage as a hobby or work space.

This list of tips is by no means a guarantee that everyone will experience lower utility bills this winter. Someone who needs summertime temps year-round for health reasons obviously might face a higher electric bill than someone who is fine with lower temps.

Other factors include the size of the structure and even the type of curtains on the windows. That said, this list can serve as a guide for dealing with the most common heat loss and comfort challenges that most people face this time of year.