Guest Author - Deborah M. Dera
Previous to this, I wrote about some of the things you can do to cut your home heating costs in the winter. While this is all well and good, itís also important to look at ways to keep warm if your heat isnít working properly. This is not to say, in any way, that you should go without heat for any reason.
Properly working heat is necessary to keep your pipes working properly and to avoid damage in your home. But what if the temperatures are suddenly in the single digits and your heating system just canít keep up? What happens if your heating system breaks down on a cold January day and all of the local HVAC guys are swamped? What if your area loses power and, consequently, you donít have heat until it comes back?
What if you simply donít have the money for repairs or maintenance until payday rolls around again?
Youíll have to blend your sense of frugality with resourcefulness to keep warm until repairs can be made.
Create Thick Curtains for Your Windows
Curtains made from thick materials will help to keep heat in your home. Theyíll also help to protect your home from drafts. The thicker you can make them, the better, and they do NOT have to be fancy. Flannel sheets, PVC shower curtains, and even old rugs can create a great protective barrier. Donít forget to create something to hang over your drafty doors as well.
Shower curtains can be purchased relatively inexpensively in home good stores, in WalMart, online, or even in Dollar General type stores. Thick fabric can be purchased in your local office supply store. You can also keep your eyes peeled for heavy winter blankets if they go on sale at the end of the season. At least youíll have them on hand for next winter.
Sunlight is FREE Heat
On sunny days, allow as much natural sunlight to enter your home as possible. Hang the curtains on the windows that arenít getting sunlight and wait until dusk to hang them in the window letting the light in. Sunlight offers natural heat, so try to take advantage of it as much as possible. Keep all of the curtains closed at night.
Keep Your Body Warm
Invest in some extra blankets, warm socks, extra mittens to be worn indoors, and hot water bottles so you can keep your own body temperature warm even when the temperatures outside are frigid. You can find all of these things for pennies on the dollar, especially during end-of-season sales. Create a storage container with these items so you always know where to find them when cold weather hits.
Keeping warm on a budget doesnít mean letting your ineffective heating system run and run, wasting gas and electricity. It means doing what you can to safely keep warm without creating a risk to your health or your home. If you really canít get warm, check with your municipality to find out where your areaís local warming stations are located. There should be a few in your town or county during the winter months.