This year, we are spending the winter months in Fort Worth, Texas. Therefore, there is not much winterizing that we need to complete. With that said, I have put together a list of 7 easy tips to help you better prepare for the cold and make the environment happy at the same time.
- Put your ceiling fan in reverse. Why you ask? The warm air in your home rises, and the clockwise rotations of the blades will force the warm air down where everyone will benefit! To be honest this was news to me, but my husband assured me that we do it every year. Maybe I should pay more attention? As soon as we need to warm up the house, this will be on the to-do list.
- Have your chimney cleaned and inspected. Burning wood releases volatile gases that cool and condense on the inside of the chimney, forming sticky, smelly, highly flammable creosote. Allow enough of it to build up, and you run a risk of a chimney fire. Also make sure the damper is working properly and that the chimney is capped with screening to keep out critters.
- Add a draft snack at the base of your doors. According to the U.S.A department of energy, drafts can waste 5%-30% of your energy use, where 11% of a home’s heat is loss is through windows and doors. Yikes. You can either buy one or make one yourself.
- Start cuddling. When the temperature drops in the house, grab a sweater, slippers, socks or a blanket to bundle up. No need to raise the temperature when you have a nifty sweater! Apparently, a light long-sleeved sweater is worth 2 degrees in added warmth, while a heavy one adds 4 degrees. Where’s my sweater? Not sure how much cuddling I will get in this year. If the weather in Texas continues like this, it won’t be the heat I will be raising, it will be the A/C.
- Keep your blinds open during the day and close them at night. This is to allow sunlight to enter the home during the day and keep the cold air out at night. This is so easy to do and helps keep your home a little bit warmer. You have nothing to loose.
- Check the pressure on your tires. The cooler temperature lowers the air pressure which lowers your fuel efficiency.
- Organize your food. During the winter, lots of my favorite fruits and veggies are most definitely not in season. How can you enjoy them without you and the environment paying a high price? Slice up some fruit such as strawberries and dehydrate them or place them in the oven for a nice snack throughout the winter; make preserves or jams of you favorite fruits, and yes, even veggies; makes a few batches of tomatoes sauces and freeze them for later. My all-time favorite is to dehydrate kale and grind it into a powder to add to my smoothies. I stock up at the farmers market with lots of kale, and voila! All great ways to safe some money while still eating well and respecting the environment.
What are you do to to get ready for the colder weather?