Stay Warm as We Enter Colder Months
It’s safe to say that cold weather is upon us as we enter the end of October and begin to prepare for November. After Halloween, the Christmas shopping season and accompanying holiday fever will begin. The nights will get longer and colder, the snow will start to fall, and your wallet will start to empty on your gas and electric bills as you spend more time inside and turn up the thermostat. Right?
There are plenty of ways you can winterize your home and save on your utility bills during the colder weather. The holiday season can be an especially taxing time financially for us all, even without the added costs of increased utility bills. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way- Moran Law will let you know how you can keep costs down while still staying warm!
1. Winterize your home
Winterizing your home may sound overwhelming, but there are several things you can do that are actually very easy and low-cost.
- Roll up some rags and stuff them under the crack of your door to prevent chilly drafts of air from invading your cozy home! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use.
- Purchase some plastic from the hardware store to put over windows to protect from drafts.
- Change your furnace filters! Dirty filters will restrict the flow of air through your vents and increase the amount of energy needed to pump the heat through your house. By changing the filters, you can make the work your furnace has to do significantly easier, which you’ll see reflected in your energy bill.
- Did you know that for every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill? Turn down your thermostat and layer up! Put on a sweater or two to stay warm. Being mindful of where you set your thermostat can save you big bucks on your heating bill.
2. Dress warmly!
It sounds obvious, but investing in warm clothes can keep you warm and even save you money by preventing you from getting sick.
- Invest in a nice winter coat
Spending a little more on the warmest winter coat will be worth it in the long run. A nice coat may last you a several winters, and it’s definitely worth it to purchase one more expensive coat and have it rather than a cheap or trendy coat that provides inadequate protection from the weather and may need to be replaced next winter. Look for one that fits snugly, to block wind and air from entering, that will block the wind, keep your body heat in, and block the cold. Tight stitching and water-resistant material are a must. Also make sure to invest in a warm winter scarf, snow boots, and gloves.
- Make warmth your biggest wardrobe concern
For everyday wear, you might try stocking up on wool tights or even long johns. You can layer them beneath pants or skirts for added warmth. Undershirts and layering sweaters are also tricks you might use to stay warm, even if you have a dress code at work. Shop deals online or at thrift stores to save money when you stock up on nice, warm sweaters, pants, and more.
3. Stay active!
You don’t have to stop exercising just because you can’t go outside. Exercise releases endorphins and stimulates brain chemicals that make you feel more happy and relaxed. Michiganders all know the reality of seasonal depression, but working out can help you feel good and stay fit during all the buffets and desserts the accompany the holiday season.
- Work out at home
You don’t have to purchase a gym membership, nor do you have to buy a bunch of expensive equipment or machinery, to get a satisfying workout during the winter. Gym memberships can be a costly recurring expense, and home fitness machines are a big investment. You could try borrowing a yoga DVD (there are also many instructional videos and classes online) to improve your mood and get some great stretches and strengthening exercises in. For cardio, instead of running on a treadmill, try a jump rope- they’re very inexpensive, and it’s an excellent heart-healthy cardio workout. There are plenty of exercises you can do that don’t even require equipment, like situps, planks, pushups, and more. You can look online or in magazines for variations on these exercises that will target specific muscles.
- Brave the cold!
Bundle up and participate in outdoor activities. There are winter activities that will get your blood pumping and are fun for the whole family, like ice skating (Campus Martius Park in Detroit has a beautiful outdoor rink during colder months), sledding, skiing or snowboarding. You might enjoy snowshoeing in one of our state parks, building snow forts, or making snow angels- just make sure you dress appropriately to enjoy the winter wonderland!