How’s the weather where you live? Getting chilly? Have you touched that thermostat yet? I think it’s safe to say that we have officially moved into our fall temperatures and I know people are turning on the heater around where we live. We however are holding out. Why are we turning down the thermostat? How are we going to keep warm without spending a bundle?

Well there’s the cost. Ok it’s mostly the cost! Turning the heater on is one thing that is sure to raise our bill through the roof. I am dreading those cold months and I’ll do whatever I can to keep that bill lower.


Then there’s the environmental reason. Did you know that by lowering your thermostat just 2 degrees in the winter you could save around 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year?


Last year was our first year of really trying to keep our thermostat set at low temperatures. We did pretty well…ok compared to most American’s we probably did outstandingly well but we all know that being crunchy puts you world’s away from the “norm”.


This year we are doing it again. How low are we going? I aim to set the thermostat to 60 degrees during the day and 62 degrees at night. This is what we aimed for last year and we pretty much stuck to it. Now last year, my youngest child was 1 year old and a 1 year old is much more hardy than a newborn which is what we will have this year. With a newborn in the house, I might have to turn things up a bit but we’ll see. I might just layer the baby like crazy, which is how the rest of the family survives. (edit to add that we ended up doing 60 during the day and 64 at night with the baby and a husband who likes things a bit warmer)

 Turning Down the Thermostat and How to Keep Warm Without Spending a Bundle

Turning Down the Thermostat and How to Keep Warm Without Spending a Bundle

Lower the thermostat – It doesn’t have to be as low as I set mine but just a few degrees cooler will make quite the change in bills and environment. For the record, most people set the thermostat higher during the day and lower at night. We do the opposite simply because we can survive just fine during the day with low temps but at night not everyone sleeps with blankets (the baby and my toddler) and there’s only so much sleeper pajamas can do.


Close the fireplace flu when not in use – You’ll lose a ton of heated air if you leave that thing open!


Make sure your vents, radiators, etc are not blocked by furniture – Block your heating source and you’ll lose your heat!


Cover door drafts – If you have any drafts under your doors, block them! Either a door snake (aka long skinny bean bag for the door) or a door sweep will do. I’ve been known to use rolled up towels.


Close doors – Obviously you should close doors that lead to the outside but those inside doors can be closed too. This will keep the heat in the rooms where it belongs and not in the hallways and staircase where it’s essentially wasted.


Seal the windows – Many people cover their windows in plastic. Now I’m all for keeping the house warm but I draw the line at putting more plastic in my house. (although there are versions that you can apply the plastic to the outside of the house) An alternative that I have found is to cover windows on the outside with clear plastic shelf liner. Now you won’t really be able to see through the windows if you do this so you might want to limit it to only certain windows but it really does make quite the difference. The plastic liner comes right off when you are finished with it so there’s no bother with clean up. Make sure to also seal any spaces in the windows with caulk or press-in-place sealers.


Drapes are more then just pretty – Get some nice thick curtains for your windows to help trap the heat in. However, if you have a window that gets great sunlight make sure to open the curtains when it’s sunny to take advantage of the solar heat.


Install storm windows – If you’ve got the money to install storm windows then do it! It will save you money in the long run.


Heat individual rooms – Some people are lucky enough to have individual heaters in each room. Our old apartments had this heating system and I miss it so much. If you have individual heaters in each room then make sure you only heat the rooms that you need to and only when you need to.


Close vents/turn off radiators in unused rooms – If you have a room that doesn’t need to be heated but you are not blessed with individual heaters in each room, then make sure to close the vents or turn off the radiator in the unused room and then shut that door. There’s no reason to heat a room that nobody is using!


Get moving – Ok so it’s not really about warming your house but if you do just a few minutes of exercise you’ll warm up and stay warm for a while.


Layers – Just because you are indoors doesn’t mean sweaters and jackets are forbidden. Layer up, put on a hat, and wear slippers or socks.


More layers on the beds – It gets cold at night. Add more blankets to the bed so that you will still stay warm but you can keep that thermostat low.


Make use of your cooking – If you used the oven, try leaving the door open once you are done so that the heat can escape into the house. Now I don’t advise this if you have little ones who can reach the oven but if you do not then make use of that heat!


Drink something warm – Simple enough.


Heating pads or rice bags – Need something a bit more than lots of layers to keep you warm? Try using a heating pad or my personal favorite, a rice bag (which is really just a bag full of dried rice that you heat up in the microwave. They are really easy to make yourself!)


So how about you? What do you keep the thermostat at? What would you like to keep it at? Any tips for keeping the house warm that I missed?

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