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Keep Your House Warm in the Winter

Keep your house warm in the winterI know it's still autumn, but I saw Halloween stuff at the store yesterday, which can only mean that autumn is right around the corner, which means winter isn't too far behind!  It got me thinking...how do you keep your house warmer without harming the environment and racking up a huge heat bill?

There are lots of ways!

-  The first and most obvious way is to lower the heat and put on an extra layer.  Sweaters, socks, and slippers...they all go a long way on a chilly evening!

- Don't keep your house warmer than you need to. According to EnergyAustralia,  a one degree increase in temperature can increase your heating costs by up to 10%.  That's pretty substantial!- Upgrade your windows. Old windows can make your house super drafty.  There are also EnergyStar windows!  If you can't install new windows, you can insulate them using some plastic

- Install a programmable thermostat. Make sure the heat goes down during the day when you're off at work and at night when you're sleeping.  Stock up on warm blankets and flannel jammies to keep you toasty throughout the night, and turn the heat as low as you can stand it! 

- Heat can be lost through glass, so consider getting thick drapes or insulated curtains, or at least draw the blinds or shades.

- If you have radiators like we do, turn them off in rooms where you don't regularly need them.  We have a guest room in the attic, and unless we have a guest, we keep the radiator shut off.   We also don't usually turn the heat on in our kitchen.  It stays warm enough in there from the radiator in our living room and also from cooking in there.

- Use space heaters wisely. Space heaters can be total energy hogs, so only use them if you only need to heat one room of the house for a short period of time.  Don't forget to use them safely, because space heaters can be dangerous fire hazards.

- Get draft blockers for your doorways. I just stumbled upon this really cute one from The Animal Rescue Site. (Handmade, fair trade, recycled fabric, and for each one purchased, The Animal Rescue Site will fund 14 bowls of food for animals living in sanctuaries and shelters....what could be better?)

- Buy some area rugs, if you have wood or tile floor.  It helps insulate and it's not as cold on the feet.

Please feel free to add any other tips!

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This article was originally posted on 9/25/09.