It’s been a bitterly cold week here in Iowa. This time of year is often when we see our energy bills skyrocket as we crank up the thermostat to combat the chill so we can feel comfortable inside our homes. Here is a list of nine great ways to stay warm WITHOUT turning up the temperature. By following these simple tricks, you’ll be able to lower your monthly heating bills and stay warm and cozy at the same time.

Open Your Curtains

During the day when the sun is shining, open your drapes, curtains, or blinds, particularly on the side of your home facing the sun. This will let in natural heat and light. At night, cover your windows again to keep the heat from the day inside your home for the night.

Add A Humidifier

The air can be very dry during the cold winter months. Even with the heat turned up, you might still feel that awful chill inside your home and feel like you aren’t able to get warm. The solution for this problem is to simply add a humidifier to your home. When you add moisture to the dry air, you will feel warmer.

Use A Programmable Thermostat

Install a programmable thermostat to manage home comfort and save on energy costs! For the month of February, Cyclone Contracting is offering a FREE energy management Wi-Fi thermostat, which is a $390 value, with the purchase of a new furnace. If your furnace is 15 years old or older, it probably needs to be replaced for safety and efficiency reasons. Be sure to take advantage of this offer while you still can!

Change The Direction Of Your Ceiling Fan

Check on your ceiling fans and make sure they are moving in a clockwise direction. During the summer when you want to keep cool, they should run counterclockwise to create an updraft to pull the heat up towards the ceiling. In contrast, during the winter when you want to keep warm, your fan should push the heat that has risen to the ceiling back down into the living space to recirculate the warmth.

Give Your Vents Space

Make sure nothing is blocking any of the vents throughout your home. You may have heard that it will help to close vents in the rooms you aren’t using. This is a myth and could actually damage your ventilation system. Make sure your vents are open and unblocked so the air can properly circulate throughout your home the way it’s intended to.

Seal Cracks And Add Insulation

Seal leaks and add insulation where necessary. This might include weatherstripping or caulking windows, adding insulation to your walls or attic, or maybe even replacing old, drafty windows and installing energy-efficient ones throughout your home.

Dress The Part And Have A Warm Drink

Dress in layers and drink warm beverages. Instead of raising the temperature every time you get cold, put on a sweatshirt and thick socks, and grab a cup of coffee. By the way, alcohol does not actually make you warmer. In fact, it lowers your core body temperature and prevents your body from shivering (your body’s natural way to keep warm). This could put you at higher risk for hypothermia.

Use Shower Steam

Open the door when or after you shower to let the steam and heat into the rest of the house. This is an easy way to add humidity to the dry air in your home!