I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, autumn is my favorite season. The colorful trees, apple cider, pumpkin flavored everything; it just doesn’t get much better than that. The only downside is that autumn inevitably leads to winter.
While perusing the store the other day I saw snowmen, pine trees, and twinkle lights already out and being sold. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays too, but it just reminds me that the cold and snow are right around the corner.
We did a post last year about staying warm while going green in the winter, which listed a few ways to keep the environment in mind and keep warm, and I’d like to embellish on that a little. I have a renewed interest in the subject and in finding ways to make the cold season more tolerable and more environmentally friendly. Maybe it’s because last year I lived in a house where the rent included utilities and this year I will know exactly what I’m using? Or maybe it’s just because I’m always looking for ways to cut down a little on my carbon footprint, the world may never know. Motivation for writing this post aside, here are some great tips I’ve learned over the years:
1. My grandma has always had double thick curtains and drapes. As a kid I always wanted them open in the winter so I could look outside but now I understand why they were closed. Having thick or insulating curtains and drapes helps to prevent heat from escaping through the glass windows. Additionally, it provides an extra barrier between your house and any cracks in the window framing that may be letting heat out.
2. Do you have wood or tile flooring? It can often be shockingly cold in the morning prompting us to turn up the heat. Instead, buy some area rugs and slippers to help insulate and keep your feet from feeling the freeze!
3. Set your thermostat as low as you can do comfortably. ”According to EnergyAustralia, a one degree increase in temperature can increase your heating costs by up to 10%.” That can escalate pretty quickly if you’re not careful.
4. In a related vein, install a programmable thermostat if you can. These can be set to go down during work hours and at night so you don’t have to remember to change it before you go to bed or leave for the day.
5. Close off any unused rooms. Have a guest room or an office that is seldom used? Close these off in the winter to save on heating them. It won’t take too long to warm them up if you end up needing them later. Remember to close off the vents too or it won’t work!
6. Get up and move! Exercising is a great way to get your heart rate up and trick your body into feeling warmer. Plus it’s a great way to justify our next tip.
7. Bake something. Having your oven going will help warm up your house a little. Plus, you’ll have something delicious to eat as a reward for that work out!
All this said, the fact remains that, in the winter, energy usage goes up. For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere it is a simple fact of life. By taking some little steps to combat the uptick though, we can have a major impact on the overall energy usage. So what do you think? Will you be trying to lower your energy consumption this winter? And most importantly, will you be doing so by any methods we missed? Let us know in the comments below!