It’s Getting Cool: 5 Easy Ways To Warm Up

With the temperatures dropping and fuel prices soaring, you may be wondering how to stay warm this winter without going broke. According to one statistic, the average American household will spend $1900 each year on energy bills and release double the amount of greenhouse gases than does the average car. Luckily, there are several ways to live green, stay warm, and save money all at the same time. Below are 5 easy ways to warm up:

1. Tame Your Thermostat. The Energy Information Administration, which provides official energy statistics from the U.S. Government, in a 1997 report states that households that lowered their home temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit during the winter saved between $15 and $40 on average; mind you, this report was done over 10 years ago. Nowadays a similar study would likely yield greater savings for your heating bill simply by lowering the temperature by one little degree.

Another alternative for using your thermostat to save money this winter is to install and use a programmable thermostat. By programming your thermostat to drop to a lower temperature during the hours you are not in the house and likewise programming it to a warmer temp when at home, not only will you save dollars on your next energy bill, but you’re also reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere.

2. Listen to Mom. When I was growing up in Connecticut, my parents harped on my siblings and me about closing the door tight when we came in, went out, or welcomed our guests. Since heat escapes through openings in our homes, like doors, windows, attics, and walls, be sure to check your home’s insulation, and caulk and seal openings in windows, faucets, pipes, electric outlets, and wiring. Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation, and siding, and seal them with the appropriate material. By making sure that you are heating your home efficiently, you may be eligible for a tax credit. To play it safe when improving your home’s insulation and sealing air openings around your home, you may want to hire a ventilation contractor and contact your utility company.

3. Wrap it up. By wrapping a blanket or insulator around your hot water tank, you’ll help reduce standing heating losses by up to 25 to 45 percent. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs. For instructions on safely insulating your gas or electric hot water tank, visit The U.S. Department of Energy’s insulation tutorials.

4.Shut ’em. Why pay to heat a room that no one is in ? I can almost hear my parents telling us to keep the doors of unused rooms in our home closed. Similar to dropping the temperature of your house when you’re not home, closing the doors of rooms that are not often used can offset energy costs and greenhouse emissions.

5. Get Threads. One of the easiest ways to warm up in cold weather is to pull on a sweater. C’mon now. We’ve been doing this, as human beings, since the beginning of time. Wear some clothes! Just as we go with a little less coverage in the summertime, by putting on a sweater and layering your clothing in the wintertime, you may require fewer trips to your home’s thermostat and won’t have to become a human popsicle. Besides, if you’re a crafty knitter or crocheter, needling your way to warmth will be fun too.

Stay warm, be green, and save the green stuff! If you want to go the extra mile, invest money saved (from lowering the cost of heating your home) into energy efficient appliances, purchasing renewable energy resources, and designing an absolute green house that requires no energy use whatsoever. For more tips on saving energy this winter, visit The U.S. Department of Energy’s Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. We’d love to hear about your own energy saving tips. Please share in the comments. Thanks!

Jessica Monte also blogs about natural parenting and the environment at Green Mamma and API Speaks.

Original 5 Minutes for Going Green post.

6 Responses to It’s Getting Cool: 5 Easy Ways To Warm Up
  1. Lori Ann
    September 23, 2008 | 7:02 pm

    Thanks especially for the link to the Dept. of Energy website – it’s still hot on this side of the world (china) but we remember last winter’s freezing temperatures which, without heaters, are just as cold in our apartment as outside!

  2. Jessica
    September 28, 2008 | 4:40 pm

    Lori Ann, I’m glad the article was helpful. Phew, China sounds like a cold place in the winter! For some reason, I hadn’t thought of the region for its cold weather. I hope you find some useful tips for saving energy this winter, and if you learn about any other easy ways to save money and energy while staying warm, please do let me know!

  3. Green Mamma » Blog Archive » Writing
    October 6, 2008 | 6:32 am

    […] green living articles are available on 5 Minutes for Going Green; one is called “It’s Getting Cool: 5 Easy Ways to Warm Up,” and the other is “Go Green and Get […]

  4. Abbie
    October 6, 2008 | 9:58 am

    I like to snuggle up under a blanket with my husband and watch a movie!

    Also, going to bed early, with plenty of blankets, is a great way to warm up and save money because the lights/TV/computer are turned off. Not to mention you get a good night’s sleep!

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