Winter can be a difficult time for a variety of reasons. For many homeowners, the prospect of shelling out a small fortune in heating costs every month ensures that this season is their least favorite time of year. Furthermore, cranking your furnace around the clock isn’t going to do any favors for your household’s carbon footprint. Fortunately, maintaining a comfortably warm home, conserving financial resources and doing right by the environment needn’t be mutually exclusive. The following tips will help you save money on heating costs while reducing your family’s environmental impact all winter long.
Many households lose a significant amount of warm air through window-based drafts. This results in furnaces and central heating units having to work overtime to account for the constant fluctuations in temperature, thus increasing heating costs and expanding your carbon footprint. You can get on top of this by carefully inspecting your home’s windows for drafts and promptly sealing any drafts your inspections uncover.
Luckily, even if you aren’t an expert in home repair, sealing drafts shouldn’t prove terribly difficult or costly. There are also a number of ways to go about sealing drafts. Foam tape, weatherstripping, window film and caulk are all examples of tools that can be used to seal drafts in a timely and stress-free manner.
Upgrade Your Doors and Windows
Upgrading your home’s doors and windows stands to facilitate long-term savings and a reduced carbon footprint. This is particularly true in the case of energy-efficient doors and windows. As the name suggests, these doors and windows are designed with energy efficiency and long-term cost-effectiveness in mind. Since they’re composed of much thicker materials than standard doors and windows, they’re far better-equipped to seal in warm and keep cold air at bay – and the less warm air is able to escape, the less hard furnaces and central heating units have to work. Additionally, during the sweltering summer months, energy-efficient doors and windows can help maximize the efforts of air conditioners and keep hot air at bay.
When shopping around for energy-efficient doors and windows, you may be put off by their comparatively high prices. While it’s true that they’ll set you back a little more than standard doors and windows, the long-term savings they’ll generate should more than make up for any short-term financial setbacks.
Hang Thermal Curtains
In the interest of sealing in warm air, consider outfitting your home’s windows with thermal curtains. These curtains are composed of thick thermal materials and can help minimize the amount of indoor air that escapes and the amount of outdoors air that enters your residence – especially when used in conjunction with energy-efficient windows. Furthermore, high-quality thermal curtains should be affordable on even the most stringent of budgets.
As an added bonus, thermal curtains – also known as “blackout curtains” – can help minimize the amount of sunlight that finds its way into your home. This can prove particularly helpful to people whose homes are flooded by uncomfortable amounts of sunlight. Additionally, if you have a difficult time sleeping in anything other than total darkness, thermal curtains are sure to be a welcome presence in your bedroom.
Attend to Your Bedroom
Compromised overnight comfort is among the foremost inconveniences associated with winter weather. Needless to say, shivering the night away is hardly conducive to proper rest. In order to get your bedroom into shape for winter, invest in heat-sealing seasonal bedding and sleepwear. For good measure, upgrade any mattresses that are well past their prime and offer little in the way of comfort. While not wanting to shell out money for a new mattress is understandable, proper sleep is too important to put a price on. Furthermore, if you’re looking to engage in eco-consciousness in your sleep, look into purchasing a resilient natural mattress.
Keeping your home comfortably toasty all winter long can be a tall order. This is doubly true for those of us who hail from parts of the country that are prone to brutal winter weather. However, while furnaces and HVAC units are modern-day necessities, they needn’t be the only heating tools in your wheelhouse. Furthermore, it’s entirely possible to effectively heat your home while doing right by the environment. In the interest of limiting your household’s carbon footprint and maintaining a comfortably warm home this winter, consider the measures discussed above.