It’s been a weird winter so far in Saskatchewan, no doubt about it. We’ve gone through some severe cold snaps throughout the province and across the country. And it’s safe to say we likely aren’t done. This cold weather not only takes a physical and emotional toll, but a financial one as well, as we jack up our thermostats to fight back the chill. Here are a few ideas, ranging from simple to outside-the-box, to help you stay warm this winter.
The first, and most obvious place to start is where the cold is coming in – do everything you can to reduce the drafts in your house. Seal windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping, and purchase window seal kits for windows you don’t want to open. After that, you can get creative.
Heat yourself, not your house
While you still want to keep your furnace running, you can set it lower and concentrate on keeping you and your family warm.
- Wear layers, cardigans, slippers, thicker socks or housecoats when around the house.
- Drink warm fluids like tea and coffee, or have soups or stews for meals.
- Use an hot water bottle, electric blanket or heating pad when you’re sleeping, or watching TV. The latter two still consume power, but it’s a fraction of what would be used to make yourself feel as warm via your furnace.
- Bring the great outdoors indoors on the coldest nights and swap your duvet or comforter for your sleeping bag. Most sleeping bags are geared for cold weather.
- Snuggle with those special someones under a blanket and watch a movie.
- Exercise to raise your core temperature – regular exercise will also make you healthier, which, in the long run, will better equip your body to deal with the cold.
- Close heat vents and doors in rooms you don’t use. There’s no sense in heating spaces that don’t need heat.
Make the most of the heat you make
There’s a lot of activities you do in your house every day that create heat, so don’t let it go to waste.
- Next time you use your oven keep the door open a crack after you’re done.
- Leave your warm bath water in the tub for an hour or so after you bathe. The warm water will also make the air more humid, and humid air holds heat.
- If you don’t have a fireplace, candles provide similar light and heat on a smaller scale. Just be sure to keep it safe, especially around children.
There’s only a few months of winter left (touch wood), but these tips and tricks can help you get there, warm and toasty, with a few more dollars in your pocket.