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Keeping Warm on a Budget

Posted on The Cooler Blog September 30, 2013 by Terry Jones

Living in the Sunshine State, it feels like summer all-year round. There are some cold periods, but usually the climate stays tropical. But for other states, residents have to keep track of their expenses for winter. Everyone wants to utilize cost-effective methods of staying warm while staying on a budget.

A space heater uses less electricity than a furnace; they concentrate heat in the room(s) most used. If you mostly spend your time in one or two rooms, it doesn’t make sense to heat the entire house. Place heaters in key rooms, and keep them closed to isolate the heat. Modern heaters have numerous safety features for more efficiency than older models, but always check electrical cords and connections.

If you spend much time at home on the computer, consider a heating pad or blanket. Heating blankets are a great way to create concentrated warmth. Like space heaters, heating pads and blankets can be found at garage sales and thrift stores. Exercise caution, as there are electrical components built into the fabric that needs to thorough examination.

Ceiling fans can spin in both directions. In one direction, they blow cold air down; in the other direction, they push cold air up. Change the spinning direction on all your ceiling fans to the appropriate setting for the season. With cold weather, you want the cold air to be pushed up, allowing the warm air to remain in the room(s).

A small hole can make a huge difference to the energy efficiency of any room. Check your house for imperfect windows or door gaps. Seal leaks with weather stripping or caulking. Even a blanket used to block the gap under a door can make a noticeable difference.

Cooking a meal at home will contribute to the indoor heat. The oven and other cooking appliances will heat up the kitchen and surrounding areas, like the dining room.

Fireplaces are a great source of heat. Firewood can often be cheaper than electricity or gas. Make sure to have a clean flue and use the appropriate fireplace tools. Small improvements can make for big difference for you and your family this winter.

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