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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday Wisdom: Week 47

November 22, 2023

Now that you have prepped, let's talk about what to do when the power bills are so overwhelming and you have to cut costs.

1. Close doors to unused rooms. If there are rooms in your home that you use only occasionally, make sure their doors are kept closed in colder months. Heat will be retained in those rooms and your furnace won't need to work as much to heat the extra space.

2. Bundle up! This may seem like an obvious answer to allowing your thermostat to be set lower, but we often forget about it. Dress in layers, a shirt, and an added sweater, sweatshirt, or bathrobe will trap air between the layers and keep you warmer. When you are watching TV wrap up in a blanket. Don't underestimate the amount of body heat lost through the head, hands, and feet. Wear fuzzy socks or warm slippers. Adjust your clothing or grab a blanket before turning up the heat.

3. Cook. When planning a meal plan for a main course add a dessert that can be baked at the same time. When finished leave the door of the oven open so heat can escape into the room as the oven cools down. Use your crock pot. When cooking with a crock pot place it in the room where you will be. If you are working from home place it in your office.

4. Close unused vents. Be aware that even with closing vents they may still leak. Be sure they are well sealed using weather stripping or even plastic. Like gaps in doors and windows, vents can usher in cold air. Doing this small thing will cause the heat to redirect. Someone told me once that this did not work so I did some research and found heating and air conditioning specialists and utility companies believe this will help to reduce costs.

5. Open curtains. The trend now is for minimal window coverings. This is a mistake when living in an area with cold winter temperatures. Closing curtains once the sun has gone down will help your home retain heat. If you do not have curtains, consider placing a Mylar blanket over the trim surrounding the windows. This will create a pocket of air between the window and the blanket. You will still let in light and be able to see out, but the trapped air will minimize cold air coming through the window into your room, and keep the cold pane of glass from lowering air temperatures near the window.

6. Close the damper when your fireplace is not in use be sure the damper is always closed.

7. Remember your tent. Set it up now. Kids love to play and sleep in tents and the tent will retain body heat making it warmer than the temperature in the room.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends!

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