31% of American households find it hard to pay their energy bills, according to National Public Radio (NPR). With winter just around the corner, it won’t be long until the cold sets in and you consider ways to heat up your home. But there’s no need to worry about the soaring cost this year, as these budget hints and tricks will help you create a cozy retreat for less.
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Layer up your windows
Up to 30% of the heat in your home is lost through air leaks around windows, according to LAS Shutters and Windows. But there’s no need to splash out on costly new ones to solve the problem. By simply hanging thick curtains at the windows, you’ll prevent hot air from escaping from your home. For optimum warmth and coziness, opt for insulated curtains which also blackout the room. Best of all, these types of curtains will work to keep your home cool in the summer too, so you won’t have to splash out on a new set when winter is over
Install a fire
Last winter, U.S. homeowners were faced with higher than average heating bills. If this trend continues, then you could end up paying in excess of $644 for natural gas, and more than $1,181 for electricity this winter. Carefully considering your home heating options is wise if you want to enjoy a cozy home this winter. A fireplace is an effective way to keep your home toasty, and comes in a range of different types. Ethanol-based ones don’t require a chimney, and many designs are portable. This makes them cheap to install and saves on costs, as they can be moved from room to room.
Floor rugs are the ideal way to increase the coziness and comfort of your home this winter. A simple rug acts as a layer of insulation between the floor and your feet, meaning you’ll instantly feel warmer when you enter the room. The larger the size of the rug, the more warmth it will exude, so ideally you want one that’s the total size of the room it will be placed in. However, rather than buy a brand new one, look out for a good-quality used one at local flea markets or online in order to save yourself some cash.
Tealights and candles make a room feel comfortable and inviting. Their soft glow also creates a sense of tranquility in the home. While candles don’t generally have the power to heat a room on their own, they do emit heat. Tealights typically give off 30 kW of heat, so when you dot them around your room, you can rely on them as an additional heat source and turn the temperature of your thermostat down to save on heating costs.
While candles will add some light to your home, you’ll need something a bit more substantial to lift the mood of your home on a dark and cold winter day. Soft lighting at various heights works the best as it flatters the room and entices you to sit down and snuggle up. Opt for wall lights, table lamps, and floor lamps for a soft, cozy atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of low-cost second-hand lighting options on online market places, and don’t forget to use eco-friendly light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to save even more cash.
introduce Blankets and Throws
Experts recommend changing bedding during winter for a thicker duvet and even an electric blanket, but this all costs money. SF Gate estimates that it costs close to $50 to use an electric blanket over winter, and as electricity costs rise so will the cost of running your blanket. A much more budget-friendly option that will benefit multiple rooms in your home is to invest in some chunky blankets and throws. These can be moved from your sitting room to your bedroom and back again and you can layer up as many as you need all throughout winter.
perfect your winter home
Winter is the time for transforming your home into a snug environment that will keep you toasty until spring sets in. But there’s no need to spend a fortune: by updating your curtains, installing a fire, maximizing your rug use, stocking up on candles and new lighting, and filling your home with soft blankets and throws you’ll create the perfect winter home for next to nothing.