Fall and winter are packed with time with family, joyous holidays memories, and unfortunately for many - catching colds and battling the flu. Remaining healthy is important and requires staying warm and bundled up. Cold weather can bring extra hardships and sacrifices, such as resisting the urge to turn up the thermometer and bundling up in extra layers.
Staying healthy doesn’t just prevent colds or flus, but also keeps you safe from life-long chronical illnesses. Here are some ways to save money, while also remaining healthy:
Warm your home the natural way
During the day, opening the curtains and blinds allows sunlight to naturally heat the home. Be sure to keep curtains and blinds open on south-facing walls. During cold months, the sun rises from the southeast and sets in the southwest. By opening the curtains/blinds on the south side of your home, the sun will enter your home directly creating natural warmth.
At night, it’s important to remember to draw the curtains/blinds to reduce the chill formed by cold windows. Installing heavy duty curtains is beneficial for both hot or cold months. During cold months, it adds an extra layer of protection from the cold. During summer, it protects against the sun.
Dress in layers
A good winter coat can be outside of someone’s budget. However, dressing layers provides you with a combination of ways to stay dry and warm. There are three layers to consider:
Base Layer: The base layer is a dry layer that is used for underwear. This layer is typically tight against the skin. Some ideas include; thermals, long-underwear, and dry-fit clothing. Look for items that are made from polyester or wool.
Middle Layer: The middle layer is typically thermal, including a sweatshirt or fleece jacket, pants, and socks. Look for items made from polyester fleece or synthetic/down fill.
Outer Layer: The outer layer acts as the shell. This layer is the top layer and acts as the best protection. The outer layer includes a jacket/coat, bibs, boots, gloves, and some kind of head protection. Look for materials that repel moisture and block wind.
Adjust the temperature
It’s a cost-saving move to keep your home’s temperature as low as is comfortable when you are at home and you’re awake. The ideal temperature to keep during the winter months is between 68-72 degrees. When you are asleep or out of the house, the temperature should be dropped down to 65 degrees. By adjusting your thermostat to match these patterns, you can save about 10% a year on heating and cooling bills. (need to cite sources for last two sentences)
Find leaks and seals
It takes more energy to warm a home while cold air is entering. That’s why it’s important to find leaks in your window and door seals. Some ways to detect air links include:
Visual Inspection: On the outside of your home check all the corners, water faucets, sidings, and foundation for any cracks or separations.
Do a pressurization test: Turn off any combustion appliances, shut all the windows and doors, turn on all exhaust fans that blow air outside, light an incense and pass it around the edge of common leak areas.
Shine a light: Use a flashlight at night to identify potential gaps while a partner looks around the house from the outside. Try to spot any large cracks that show up as rays of light.
Use a dollar: Shut a door or window on a dollar bill. If you can pull the dollar bill out without it dragging, you're losing energy.
Shop deals after winter seasons
Shopping after the winter season is the best way to save money. Many stores will have a Winter Coat Clearance Sale, and people can expect to save up to 90% on winter jackets and other clothing items you can use to layer like gloves and under garments. Electrical heating elements also go on sale after the winter months. Electrical heating elements can be used to warm up rooms in the house, without having to adjust the thermostat.