In the winter months, I run into one question more often than any other time of the year, and it is funny to me because winter is our shortest season in South Georgia. So how do you stay warm in the winter and still save money? The major thing to remember is that there are two costs involved to being cold. The first is obvious in the fact that most people use a heater to warm up and they use either electricity, oil, or gas. The other cost is that the more time we spend exposed to the cold the more likely we are to get sick. If our core body temperature begins to drop, our immune system and the ability to fight off germs also drops. So here are my top 5 ways to stay warm and healthy while saving money.
- Cover windows – Most of us have curtains for our windows, but always leave them open to let the light in. Well at night or on extremely cold days, you are just letting the cold in. If you close your curtains, it will act as a layer of insulation to keep the cold out and the warmth in. If you do not have any, then you can put plastic up inside or out that still lets in light, but still provides a layer of insulation. I have even seen people put up blankets on the inside of their home to cover them. Whatever you decide is right for you is fine, and if you don’t believe you need it, just go touch that window.
- Seal doors and windows – Similar to the one above, we don’t want to lose our “bought air” through cracks surrounding the doors and windows. You can go to mostly any home improvement store and buy caulk with a caulk gun for $15 to $20, and save yourself $40 every winter. One gun has enough to seal all of your windows, depending on size of home, at least twice. If you can see light coming in around the edges of your windows, so is the cold air. It is well worth it and could stop you from getting a cold! For your doors if you can see light coming in then you need either weather stripping or a draft stopper. Both of these items are also carried at most retailers, I typically use the weather strips because I have a cat that loves to destroy fabric things like draft stoppers.
- Drafts that can’t be sealed – If you have a draft that for some reason just can’t be sealed and it keeps you cold, think about how you could rearrange the things of that room so that you are not sitting or sleeping next to it. Remember that prolonged exposure raises your chances of getting sick which can be very costly.
- Bundle up – Adding one layer of light clothing can make you warmer without added expense. When we add a layer of clothing our body heat has more space to get trapped in and help keep us warm. Also keep a throw blanket handy to toss on your feet or shoulders if they get cold.
- Turn your heater up a little – Most people try to cut corners by lowering their heat one or two degrees so they can save money. The sad truth is that it is much more costly to have to pay the medical bills and for the medicines needed to recover from a sickness vs just staying warm. That does not include missing work and being one of the 72% of the world who does not get sick pay.