Energy tips to stay cozy at home this winter

Arthur Murray / December 11th, 2020

Layering is an energy tip that's good for dogs, too.

COVID-19 is preventing many of us from traveling this winter. That makes it even more important to stay nice and warm in your home. Here are some energy tips to help you thrive during the colder weather that’s on the way.

  • Reverse your ceiling fan. Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer. One unusual energy tip is to turn on the fan. But you do have to do a bit more. Make sure to set it to turn clockwise. That pushes the warm air down where you need it. (For summer, you’ll want it spinning counter-clockwise.)
  • Check your windows and doors. A lot of heat can escape from poorly sealed windows and doors. You might need to get a winterizing kit for your windows and draft guards for your doors. Any expense can be offset by the savings – up to 10 percent of the average home’s energy costs.
  • Back away from the thermostat. The Department of Energy recommends you set your thermostat at 68 degrees. That might be too cold for some. It’s equally important (not to mention a great energy tip savings-wise) to avoid constantly adjusting the temperature up or down.
  • Use the sun to your advantage. An often-overlooked energy tip is to keep the curtains open during the day to get the benefit of the warm sunshine. You’ll be surprised how much this can warm a room.
  • Layers 1. You know to bundle up when you go outside. But you can also throw on a sweatshirt of a sweater inside. Layering keeps the heat in and allows you to possibly hit that 68-degree temperature on your thermostat.
  • Layers 2. The same layering strategy goes for your bed. Throw on an extra blanket or two. (Flannel sheets can be another great energy tip.)
  • Enjoy hot food and drinks. Soup and grilled cheese tastes great and can keep you warm, especially if you pair them with hot chocolate or tea.
  • Cut out the alcohol. Speaking of drinks, alcohol does not warm you up. That’s contrary to how most people think. Alcohol actually lowers the color temperature of your body.
  • Take care of your head. It goes without saying that wearing a hat can keep you warmer when you’re outside. (You’ll lose heat through any exposed body part.) And while some might call it rude, you also can wear a hat inside to stay warmer. Again, that thermostat thing comes into play here.
  • Take care of your feet. That body parts exposed thing also applies to your feet. Another overlooked energy tip: Wear socks and slippers inside to hold in the heat.

Winter is coming. But you don’t have to be cold when it does. Prepare now by following an energy tip or two and you’ll stay cozy until spring.

Arthur Murray is a veteran editor and writer. He has covered energy for several years.

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