There is something magical about the colder months. Wearing cozy clothes, drinking hot lattes, snuggling under blankets, and watching the snow fall outside your windows…Alright, maybe I just feel this way because I love winter and colder weather—a true New Englander! But I’ll admit that there are definitely some less-than-ideal things about the winter months, especially when it comes to your home. Winter also brings drafty windows, dry air, the chill of cold sheets when you first get into bed, and everyone’s least favorite: the insanely high utility bill from cranking up the thermostat to make your house warmer.
But I’m here to tell you: You don’t have to spend a small fortune on gas or electricity to keep your house warm. Here are eight simple ways to reduce your utility bills this winter, all while keeping your space cozy and comfortable.
Add rugs throughout the house
Rugs are great for adding personality and color to your space, but on top of their aesthetic appeal, they can also make your house warmer. Thanks to their plush material, rugs act as insulation, keeping the heat from slipping through the floor and blocking cooler air from sneaking in around doors.
Switch the direction of your ceiling fan
When I moved into an apartment with ceiling fans, I was ecstatic, mainly for the cooling benefits during the warmer months. But then a friend taught me about using ceiling fans to make your house warmer in the winter. I thought she was crazy—who wants to use a fan in the winter!? However, since heat rises, your ceiling fan can actually make a big difference. If you reverse the direction of your ceiling fan from counterclockwise to clockwise, it will pull the cool air up, which will then force the warmer air back down into the room.
Warm up your bedding
The seasonal bedding swap is a ritual I will always adore. Switch out your summer sheets for a flannel or cashmere sheet set. For even more warmth, invest in an electric blanket to keep you cozy all winter long. You can even turn your electric blanket on a few minutes before you’re ready to get into bed. By the time you’re done washing your face, your bed will be nice and toasty.
Be strategic with sunshine
When the sun is shining during the day, open your curtains around the house to let the warmth in. As the sun goes down, close them again to keep that warmth in and the cold out. For an added layer of insulation on your windows, hang black-out curtains—in addition to blocking light, they can also help conserve heat.
Use your oven often
During the winter months, it’s only natural to crave warm, delicious meals, so you’re likely using your oven more often anyway. When you’re done cooking, turn off the oven but don’t let that heat go to waste. Open the oven door, even just a crack, to let that leftover heat warm up your kitchen.
Treat yourself to a cozy pair of slippers
There’s nothing worse than walking on cold floors. In my apartment, the bedrooms and living room are carpeted, but the bathrooms and kitchen aren’t. So if I’m not wearing slippers when I venture out of bed in the mornings to make coffee, my groggy walk to the kitchen feels like walking on an iceberg. Wearing a cozy pair of slippers around the house can save your feet from freezing and help preserve your body heat.
Block drafts as much as possible
Got a window that doesn’t quite seal properly? Keep cold breezes out by using draft guards on your windows or under doors. You can even add insulating film across your windows to further prevent heat from escaping through the glass. And, of course, don’t leave exterior doors open any longer than they need to be (that includes your garage door!).
Increase humidity around the house
Extra humidity can actually make your space feel warmer. Some simple ways to boost moisture include boiling water on the stove, putting a tin of water on top of your radiators, not using the bathroom fan after a shower, or even purchasing a humidifier.