It may not be snowing where you are right now but make no mistake, winter is here! Temperatures are beginning to drop and it’s just about time to break out that winter jacket if you haven’t already done so. Of course there’s more to preparing for winter beyond just dressing appropriately when you’re going outside—you’ll want to make sure you take the right steps in keeping your home. Here are some tips on how to stay warm and save energy this winter:
1. Keep the heat inside during winter and the hot air out in summer by sealing up any gaps and cracks in external walls, floors and ceiling. Seal external doors using draught stoppers or 'door snakes' at the bottom and weather stripping around the frames. Close blinds, curtains, windows and doors on cold days to keep the heat in.
2. Nothing is quite as satisfying during the cold winter days then a nice bowl of homemade stew, or casserole. A good warming dish prepared in the oven or something a little spicy can go a long way to keeping you warm. And as an added benefit baking at a low temperature for a few hours will help warm your apartment up as well.
3. Dress for the weather regardless of whether or not you’re going outside! Obviously you shouldn’t be wearing your winter jacket inside, but it helps to wear thick cotton socks and even a hat to keep your body warm even if it isn’t freezing cold inside.
4. Take advantage of the natural warming ability of the sun; in the morning open your curtains and raise your blinds so sunlight can flow in and warm your apartment. Once the sun begins to go down close the blinds and curtains to keep the heat in. This works best if you have thick blinds and your windows are properly insulated to keep the cold out and the heat in.
5. Microwave socks or small homemade "pillows" filled with rice, dried corn, or beans for one minute in the microwave and use as a heating pad or bed-warmer (if you don't have a microwave, use a hot water bottle.