In our house, we’ve spent upwards of $250 a month to keep the house warm during the winter months. The central heating and air system is working overtime to make sure that our toes stay toasty. What we realized was that it wasn’t so much the rooms which needed to stay warm, it was us. It turns out that heating a body costs MUCH less than heating a room. We’ve dropped our power bills down to around $150 a month with some simple changes.
Lowering the Power Bill
1. Drop a few degrees
This has been the primary way that we’ve saved on the heating bills. The thermostat in our house was dropped to 60 degrees, and we’ve saved $20 for each degree that the thermostat was dropped. The heating bills have gone from $250 a month to around $150 a month with this simple change.
2. Cooking More
I cook more when the kitchen is clean, so TUM has been cleaning up the kitchen, and I’ll prepare all types of things for our eating pleasure. I love baking the one pot meals, since frying is generally thought of as being unhealthy. When cooking, you not only receive monetary benefits, you can get really warm.
3. Use the fireplace
This will also help you get to know your neighbors. Everyone’s got trees that are downed in their yard. Why not volunteer to take those bits of wood off of their hands so that you can use it in the fireplace? You can often get great deals on the wood, and it heats homes up by many degrees.
4. Space Heaters
Space heaters are great for when you’ve turned off the central heating. It heats only a room, but it can get you quite warm in a small period of time. The expense in electricity is quite astounding, since you’re not using as much power. You’re also doing the most important thing for yourself: keeping YOU warm.
Focusing on Yourself
1. Invest in jackets
I have an old work jacket that I’ve been extensively using for the winter months. It’s a windbreaker which I wear over a sweatshirt. It has pockets, so I can always be prepared with a little cash and my keys. A jacket bought at Goodwill costs around $10, and the benefits received can stave off the temptation to raise the thermostat.
2. Wear Socks
Your body loses heat through the feet. Keeping that heat from escaping with a $2 pair of socks will not only make you more productive, but it will lower your likelihood of getting foreign objects in your feet. I normally wear a couple pairs of socks to get that extra insulation.
Your body expends its energy through your hands, too. The colder that your hads are, the less likely you are to be really happy about any situation which comes your way. Get a pair of fingerless gloves if you’re prone to doing lots of typing and other computer-oriented tasks. The money that you’ll save from lowering the thermostat will more than cover the cost of a pair of gloves.
4. Move Around
It’s a fact. Your body will get hotter when the blood gets flowing. You will start to sweat, but if you keep a jacket or a sweatshirt on over the sweat, the heat will be returned to you and keep you warm. You might feel the flush on your cheeks, but you’ll be staying warm and beating the frozen weather.
5. Take a Hot Shower
Hot showers are wonderful. I cannot say enough good things about taking hot showers. Stay under the water for a good 20 minutes, and your body heats up to the point that it can maintain that warmth for a good couple of hours. Water costs less than power, so the cost hit isn’t as much.
I do not think that I’m unique in saying that when I’m warm, I’m a lot more productive. When my feet are cold, all I particularly want to do is curl up in bed underneath a blanket, and I can’t afford that (this is not to say that I don’t do that anyway). I’ve noticed that wearing socks has made me more productive than any of the other tips here.
Lowering your power bills and staying warm do not have to be mutually opposed. It can definitely be done, if you’re willing to be in a colder house and invest in blankets and firewood.