Soak up some rays
The sun keeps the whole world warm—why not take advantage of that free energy in your own home? Leave your shades open during the day to let in as much sunshine as possible. (Related: Here are more ways to save on every household bill.)
But close your shades later
As soon as the sun starts to set, whisk your curtains shut to hold in the heat. Warmth can escape through windows and doors, so invest in thick curtains to add as much insulation as you can. Place some in front of glass doors too to protect another vulnerable area.
For an almost-invisible way to block out drafts, add weather-stripping to your doors and windows. Installing a bit of the rubber insulation on the edges is way cheaper than investing in all-new doors and windows. Don't miss these other savvy tricks for keeping heating costs down.
Cut off unused rooms
Don’t waste precious heat on areas of the house you rarely use, like the guest room or dining room. Seal the vents in those rooms, and close the door if possible to contain the warm air in the spaces you need it most. (When you do need to break open the guest room, here are easy tricks to make overnight visitors more comfortable.)
Rearrange the furniture
If you have large pieces of furniture right in front of a radiator, they’re probably absorbing some of the heat that you’re trying to let into the rom. Give a bit of space between to let the warm air circulate more easily. Try to keep seating away from the window too so that you don’t feel the cold air from the outside.
Adjust the heat through the day
Turning up the heat only when you need it takes less energy than maintaining a constant temperature the whole day. In fact, dialing it back 10 to 15°F for eight hours a day could save 5 to 15 percent on your yearly heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Adjust your thermostat manually, or program it to turn on when you come home from work and to go back down when you’re ready for bed. As a bonus, you’ll sleep more deeply in a cooler space. (Find out more ways to set up your bedroom for better sleep.)
Inch the temperature up
When you do come home to a cool home, it can be tempting to crank the heat all the way up to warm your home faster. But heaters don’t work that way—setting your thermostat to a higher temperature won’t warm the space up any faster. Instead, you’ll just be wasting energy by telling the heater to work harder than usual to reach that high temp.
Stay warm at bedtime
If you’re uncomfortably cold with the heat down at night, don’t go running to the thermostat just yet. Swap out your usual cotton sheets for cozy flannel, and add a few extra blankets or a down comforter. You can also use a blow drier to heat your sheets before you crawl into bed. Here are more ways to cozy up your bedroom.
Turn on the fan
Yes, you read that right—a ceiling fan can actually keep your home warmer if you set it right. Counter-clockwise pushes hot air up, giving you a cool breeze in the summer, but if you reverse the direction, you’ll actually be able to push that warm air back down. Use it on a low setting to get its effects. When temperatures do warm up, use these AC tricks to feel colder while saving money.
But avoid exhaust fans
Cut down on how often you use fans to clear steam from your bathroom or kitchen. Like any fan, they pull out hot air from your home, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the temperature up. Only use it when cooking if the steam is in the way, and shut it off right after your shower, opening the door to let the vapor out instead.