7 Ways Iowans Can Keep Their Home Warm While On A Budget
As Iowa reaches the middle of December, I think it'd be fair to admit we've had it pretty good so far this winter. Parts of Iowa have dealt with some snowy days/nights but for the most part, the temperature hasn't been too bad. The high temperature in Iowa, this December, has averaged around 33 degrees and the low has rarely fallen below 15 degrees.
According to Weather, next week that begins to change. By next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we'll begin to see temps at about 10 degrees, with lows of -4. By now you've turned the heat on in your house but later next week, your heater will be working just a little bit harder.
As someone who is in their first year of owning a home, I've learned more than I thought would be possible in the first 10 months. Some of these budget-friendly tips might be common sense but there were a few that surprised me. With the help of HSA Home Warranty, here are 7 budget-friendly ways to help keep your home warm as the weather begins to get a lot colder.
If your home doesn't have central heating or is poorly insulated, a space heater is a simple way to keep different rooms in your home warm. If you work from home and are spending most of your day in one room, or if when you get home you are normally lounging in your living room, you could put a space heater in the room with you.
This could allow you to turn down your thermostat to the entire house, while still maintaining a comfortable temperature in the areas you frequent the most in your house. Always remember to do your research as not all space heaters are created equal. Make sure any space heater you use has safety features to reduce fire hazards. Some space heaters have a sensor that can detect if a unit is overheating, which will shut it off automatically.
I know you know how a blanket works... If you live in a house with multiple people and some of them think the house is too cold, you could suggest they wrap up in a blanket before turning up your home's temperature. At my house, we have a rule that if you're cold, put on a sweater and grab some slippers, or warm socks before turning up the heat.
In the summer, your home may have light and breezy drapes on your windows. In the winter, you can swap those out for heavier fabrics to help conserve warmth. When the sun is out, open your drapes for some free solar heat, and when the sun goes down, close your new heavier drapes to help prevent heat loss.
This is something you probably should've checked out in the fall but never fear, there's still time to solidify your windows. Check the windows in your home for any drafts. If you feel cold air slipping through the edges of your windows, weather stripping can be used to help seal those areas. You can find various types of weather-stripping material to seal the drafts in your home and most materials are under $20.
Decorating Bare Walls
When I first came across this, I figured there was no chance this could help. Supposedly it actually can help keep a room temperature stable. Whether you add mirrors, artwork, or any other wall hanging, it does provide a little bit of extra insulation for your home. Even if you're wondering how much of a difference it would really make, at least you won't have that blank wall to look at anymore.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
If your home has ceiling fans, it's likely they come with a "winter mode" setting. In my house, there's a little switch at the base of every fan that you push to change the direction of the fan. In the winter, you want your fans rotating in a clockwise direction. Hot air rises and this clockwise rotation will help push the hot air back down into the open spaces in your home.
Insulate Water Heater
If you have a newer water heater, it's possible it is already insulated. If you have an older water tank, you probably want to check it out. If you have an older model, HSA Warranty suggests seeing if it has "insulation with an R-value of at least 24." If not, you can consider insulating the tank with a fiberglass blanket. You can reduce the unit's heat loss by up to 45% and save up to 16% on your winter energy bills.
If you're looking to save some money on your energy bill this winter, any and all of these steps can help. We've had a pretty tame winter so far but the really cold weather is just around the corner.