Tis the season to be jolly. And cold. As much as I'd love to crank up the heat and pretend I am somewhere tropical, with the white "sand" piling up on the driveway, it's not the most eco-friendly thing I could do. Here are a few things to keep in mind as the temperature keeps dropping.
~Insulate your home- Insulation is the biggest way to cut heating costs. You can use natural materials such as recycled newspaper or sheep's wool or you can opt for Icynene spray foam, which is free of VOC's, HCFC's, formeldehyde, etc. Adding insulation onto your pipes prevents freezing in the most severe cases of "house frostbite" and adding a jacket to your hot water tank ensures that your hot water tank will not be jealous when you bust out your parka.
~Draft-proof your home- Add weather stripping and caulking to areas of your house that are areas of great heat loss. Think doors, window, baseboards. If possible, replace window that are drafty and opt for double or triple paned windows with a higher R-value rather than single paned. Thick curtains even help. Sometimes a little can go a long way.
~Use renewable heat sources- Geothermal heating might not be in your budget this year, and a wood or pellet stove might not be the easiest thing, but it is a renewable resource, whereas oil, natural gas, and coal are not sustainable. Not to mention, a fireplace definitely adds to the ambiance of Christmas time! If this is not an option, maybe having thermostats in each room is. There isn't much need for as much heat in the bedrooms throughout the day as there would be having more heat in the living room.
~Manage your airflow- Make sure your ducts are clean and unobstructed. The monsters under your bed might appreciate the heat but if your bed is over the vents, getting out of bed in the winter might be less appealing. If you have a radiator, try adding a shelf over top, and don't block it with curtains, as to prevent the heat from just going up the wall, but instead circulating the heat around the whole room.
~Bring on the layers- My dad always told me, it's better to over-dress than it is to under-dress, just take off a layer as you need. So, add layers, whether it be on your shoulders or on your bed. Add a blanket on the couch. I personally start my winter mornings with long johns, sweats, and snow pants. Highly fashionable. I know.
~Unplug your freezer during winter months- who needs a freezer when it's minus 30 outside? Ok, this may seem weird, but really, why not?
Ants on a Blog
By Jena Keenan