As cold air settles in outside, it can also make your home feel colder inside. Keeping your thermostat set to 80° will definitely make your house warmer, but it can also send your heating bill through the roof. There are other options for safely and cost-effectively keeping warm this winter, aside from adding more layers to your wardrobe.

Do:

  • Seal up any cracks along the doors and windows. Pay attention to where you feel drafts or cold air coming in. Replace any weatherstripping that is broken or worn and place a rolled-up towel or draft guard along the bottom of doors or on windowsills. Laying down rugs on wood or tile floors can also help.
  • Open your curtains during the day. While this seems counterintuitive, it actually lets the natural sunlight and warmth in. Close your curtains in the evening and overnight to help hold the heat in.
  • Uncover any blocked vents. Make sure you move furniture out of the way so that there is maximum air flow for baseboard or floor vents. For ceiling vents, make sure they are open and consider using a vent cover to direct air inward toward the center of the room.
  • Switch ceiling fans from “summer mode” to “winter mode.” In the winter, the blades should be turning clockwise at a low speed to push heat downward.

Don’t:

  • Use your fireplace without having it cleaned and inspected first. Soot and debris can build up creating a fire hazard. Also, don’t leave a fire burning while you’re not home or aren’t going to be in the room or nearby.
  • Turn your oven on, crack open the door, and use it as a heater. However, you can benefit from the warmth of the oven by making a casserole, roasting a chicken, or baking cookies on especially cold days.
  • Leave space heaters on overnight or unattended in a room. Only turn on a space heater while you are actively using it, and keep at least a three-foot radius of cleared space around it to avoid any materials potentially catching fire. Also, check to see if your space heater has a safety feature that automatically shuts it off if it should tip over.
  • Constantly change your thermostat. Adjusting the temperature frequently creates more work for your system and can increase your electric bill. A better option is to use a programmable thermostat to control changes, especially when you’re not home.

Keeping your home warmer this winter doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Don’t forget that throwing on some slippers, a robe, a sweatshirt, or blanket can also help you stay toastier without adjusting the thermostat. Stay safe this winter when heating your home to reduce fire risk.

Kuester can help your HOA communicate helpful tips and reminders to homeowners throughout the year. Contact us today to learn more.

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