Winter is an expensive time of year for many people. The cold weather drives up heating bills, and winter holidays may require lots of shopping and travel arrangements. What’s worse is that seasonal depression is at an all-time high during the winter, which makes it harder not to spend money on the things that make us happy. Saving money can be a real challenge.
The key to saving money this winter is to plan ahead and make small changes around the house. Here’s how you can save a little money this winter while getting cozy and comfortable.
1. Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Homes that are energy efficient cost less to maintain. Since it is expensive to fully renovate the attic or replace the windows, try making some small changes to reduce your heating bill.
Fix drafts by sealing cracks in the window frames and add film to the panes. Then, put weatherstripping on the bottoms of your doors so there are no leaks. Weatherstripping also helps to keep pests out, like mice. Mouse problems are common during the colder winter months. Reach out to a professional like Mice Control Brampton for removal.
You can also try switching to a programmable thermostat that lowers the temperature while you are out of the house. Try lowering it by just a few degrees during your work hours or while you are out of town.
2. Get Your Shopping Done Early
November is a great time for sales. If you can start your holiday shopping early, you can avoid making impulse purchases, as well. Cramming all your shopping into one day will encourage you to buy things at full price, without having given them much thought. Take some time to brainstorm and create a list. Then, take advantage of sales and order things now so they arrive on time.
3. Lower the Temperature and Wear Layers
Heating and cooling may account for as much as 70% of your energy bill. That’s a lot of money. If you can handle it, try lowering the temperature of your home by one or two degrees this winter. If you have radiators, lower the temperature even further in unused rooms. Then, bring out the sweaters and the fuzzy slippers.
4. Up the Hygge in Your Living Space
Hygge is Norwegian for a cozy lifestyle. Make your living space more comfortable and more affordable by adding rugs and switching your window treatments to heavy drapes. This will increase the insulation in the room, lowering your heating bill. Be sure to open the drapes during the day to let in the sun, then close them at night to shield from the cold. Add some throw pillows and a blanket into the mix, and you won’t need to crank up the heat.
5. Humidify the air
Winter air is much drier because it cannot retain moisture the way that hotter temperatures can. Since you want your home to sit at a comfortable temperature, try using a humidifier to make up for that loss in moisture. It will help you breathe easier, and you will feel more comfortable. No need to turn up the temperature. Humidifiers can make a room feel warmer because it increases the volume of the air and makes you sweat less.
6. Use appliances during off-peak hours
Winter weather means that you can’t hang your laundry outside. So, check out your energy supplier’s pricing scheme and find out when it is cheapest to use large appliances, like the dryer. In most places, it is cheaper to do things on weekends and weeknights between 7pm and 7am. Do your laundry and use your dishwasher between these hours to save some money this winter.
For even more savings, you can get programmable power bars that turn your electronics off completely when you aren’t using them. This saves you from phantom power, or idle current, which is the power that is wasted by devices that have been turned off. A power bar like this can cut the power the power to your consoles, television, and other electronics you don’t use in the middle of the night.