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Anyone who lives in Chicago knows the winters can be brutal. Freezing temperatures along with wind chill can cause a hermit effect, prompting you to stay inside your warm and comfy home. But what if you can’t manage to keep your house warm no matter what you set the thermostat to? Here are some tips that will not only keep your house warm and toasty, but may help lower your monthly energy bills as well.
Let the Sunshine In
The sun is Earth's natural heater, so why not use that to your advantage? Determine which windows receive direct sunlight and leave those curtains or shades open during the day. No matter how cold the day is, the sunshine will still add some heat to your home. With that being said, once the sun goes down, make sure your curtains or shades are closed up tight, as they will act as an extra bit of insulation. If you currently don’t have any window treatments, it’s a good idea to invest in some. The heavier the material, the more insulation you’ll have.
Utilize Ceiling Fans
It may seem odd to turn your fans on during a snowstorm, but most ceiling fans do have a winter mode switch which reverses the airflow by spinning the blades in a clockwise fashion. Heat rises, so by flipping the switch, the fan will now push that heat back down to into your room as opposed to allowing it to escape through the ceiling. Make sure your fan is on a low speed, otherwise you’ll be feeling a breeze.
Don’t Block the Vents
Whether you have propane heating, an HVAC system, or an old fashioned radiator, be sure that your furniture arrangement is not blocking any of that heat from reaching the entire space. Arrange your sofa, tables, and bookcases far enough away from your vents so the heat is free to circulate.
Upgrade Your Insulation
While it may be a bit more than you want to spend, ensuring your attic space is insulated will not only keep your home warm and toasty, but it will also save you money in the long run. Windows and doors are also culprits of heat loss if they aren’t caulked properly or are lacking weather stripping. Check the windows and doors in your home and feel for drafts – once you find them, add fresh caulk or weather stripping.
Add Some Layers
If you have hardwood or tile floors, you’ve experienced just how cold they can get in the winter. They just don’t capture the heat the same way rugs or carpet do, so add some area rugs to act as another form of insulation. Don’t forget the bathrooms either – there’s nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower onto freezing tile floor. While you’re adding layers, also think about adding some throw blankets and pillows. Plush materials will absorb the heat and keep your room cozier.
You don’t necessarily have to heat the whole house, but the rooms you use need to be comfortable. Warm up your house using the tips above and you’ll surely make it through until spring without frostbite. How do you keep your home warm and toasty?