According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American family spends more than $2,000 per year for home utility bills.
Last year, the U.S. Energy Information Agency estimated that the average household will pay approximately $644 to heat a home with natural gas, $980 with electricity, $1,462 with heating oil, and $1,661 with propane.
If you're sick and tired of paying a lot more than you should be for heating and still find that you don't feel warm and cozy in your own home, here are 10 simple ways to warm your house without cranking up the heat.
1. Turn on the fan
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The reason why many people crank up the heat during the winter is because there's not enough warm air circulating around the house.
To make your house cozy without having to dish more money out of your wallet, turn on your fan to the lowest setting in a clockwise direction.
Since warm air rises, the fan will push the warmth back down.
2. Be mindful of which windows let the sun shine in
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If you get a lot of sun in your city, use this energy source to your advantage!
Always open your blinds or curtains, even if it's not sunny, to let some kind of light in.
Make sure to always let light shine in south-facing windows, which will help raise the temperature of your home.
3. Use a humidifier
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Moisture is a good thing! It makes you feel warm, and that's exactly how you want to feel during the coldest times of the year.
To raise the humidity levels in your home, use a humidifier to help it warm up faster. Keep in mind, you don't need anything super expensive to save money on your heating bills.
4. Rearrange your furniture
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If you have any furniture that's blocking heating vents or radiators, change the layout of the room.
It's important that heat can easily circulate around so that you don't have one room that's nice and warm but others that are freezing cold.
Also, if you have a radiator that's under a window, put tin foil on the wall, sticking the shiny side towards the heater to allow heat to bounce back into the room.
5. Let some cold water run from your faucet
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The last thing you would think to make your home feel warmer is cold water, but this hack may save you a lot of money.
According to Glen Gallas from Mr. Rooter Plumbing, allowing a small trickle of cold water to run from your faucet will prevent your pipes from getting frozen.
Also, opening the cabinets under your sinks will help warm air circulate around pipes.
6. Upgrade insulation, windows, or the roof
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This one seems like a no-brainer, but not a lot of people take into consideration that their old insulation could be the reason why they're paying more money on their heating bills every year.
But it's not just your windows that may be causing cold air to seep in, your roof may be the issue too.
If there's not enough insulation up there, the furnace will have to work overtime.
7. Find sources of drafts
If your home's insulation is up to date, but your home is still cold, there may other areas of your house letting in cold air.
Oftentimes you'll find that areas around door frames, window frames, and electrical outlets are letting in cold drafts.
8. Make a fire, or cook
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As the temperature drop and the holiday season rolls around, enjoy your living space by turning on the fireplace or cooking hot foods that require the stove or oven.
If you have a small house or a open concept living space, you'll benefit the most from this. The warm air will disperse around your home in no time.
9. Plant trees
Photo by Alex Indigo from flickr
You may be scratching your head wondering how trees can lower your heating bill, but it's actually possible.
Planting an evergreen tree near the northern side of your house will shield your home from cold winds, and having some deciduous trees on the southern side of your home, where the leaves fall in Autumn, will let the sunshine come in by winter.
Of course, you'll have to do this next year, but it's a good trick to keep in mind.
10. Check your heating system
Image by Tiia Monto [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
If you haven't already, get your heating system checked as soon as possible.
It's important that your furnace or boiler is working perfectly, or else you're going to have one tough winter.