It’s mid-December in Jacksonville, and it’s a frigid 35-degree evening. The heater button on your thermostat is collecting dust. The wood floor feels ice-cold on your feet, and the mere thought of sitting on your leather couch is giving you frostbite. What do you do? You’re faced with the ultimate dilemma of either throwing money to the wind or suffering slightly in the name of frugality. The man on your left shoulder says, “it’s just money...crank up the heat, baby!” The one your right says, “DO NOT TOUCH THE THERMOSTAT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!” What if I told you this age-old dilemma doesn’t have to be so hard? With a little bit of education, you’ll find that a few small tweaks around the house will warm things up in no time. You won’t even have to step foot near that dreaded money-burning machine on your wall. Here are three easy, yet effective ways to keep your house warm this winter:


Window Prep

The cold will sneak into your house any possible way it can. One common way the cold finds its way in is through your windows. We can’t stress enough the importance of checking your windows for gaps and cracks that could be creating drafts. This could be why it still seems cold in your house even though you’ve got the heat cranked up. Plus, you could be burning up a lot of money in the process. Be sure to check your windows sooner rather than later because the colder it gets, the more uncomfortable the window replacement process will be, since you’ll have cold air drafting throughout your house during the replacement. Just remember, when looking for possible drafts coming through your windows, it might not be apparent at first. If you suspect you might have a draft but aren’t quite sure, talk to a professional at a local hardware store. There are a range of products you can use to detect a draft, even if the crack in your window is microscopic.


Another thing to consider is window treatments. Just as the cold can transfer through a window, so can heat from the sunlight. Keep curtains or blinds open during the day to let in natural light. When the sun sets, close your curtains or blinds to keep in the heat. This is the easiest and most efficient way to keep your home warm, as it doesn’t cost a single dime!


The Water Tank

Controlling the air temperature isn’t the only way to keep your home warm during the winter. You can take steps to save money by keeping the water warm as well. You’ve probably had the lovely experience of having to wait impatiently for the water to warm up in order to avoid a cold shower, all because someone threw in a load of laundry or decided to do the dishes minutes before. As you wait for the water to get warm, the minutes add up, and so do the dollar signs. You can avoid this by making sure your water tank is well insulated. Some Floridians might be puzzled by the mention of water tank insulation, but if you don’t have it already, it’s a worthy investment. Insulating your water tank is incredibly cheap, and the return on investment makes it worth the buy. Whether it’s electrical tape or reflective insulation, you won’t spend more than $50, and the payoff will be hundreds.


Utilize your Furniture and Appliances

Believe it or not, the stuff you already have in your house can be rearranged and used to produce a much warmer environment. First, take a look at the room where you spend most of your time. Where’s the couch located? Table? Chairs? Now locate your air vents. Even though you might think you have the most ideal setup, it might not be practical for keeping your house warm during the winter months. A lot of times, furniture may be placed directly over or near a vent, where it absorbs most of its output. This causes your heater to have to work harder to warm up the rest of the space. Rearrange your furniture so your air vents have enough space to release heat into the open air.


Remember the frozen hardwood floors mentioned earlier? Invest in some rugs to save your feet the pain. Rugs are decent insulators, so they’ll slowly but surely help to heat up the room as well. As for your kitchen, this room produces a lot of heat based on its sheer functionality. We assume you’ll be doing some baking this winter, so once you take your creation out of the oven, turn it off and leave the oven door open. This warms up the air pretty fast. Now you’ve got a warm house and fresh, homemade cookies! It doesn’t get much better than that. Lastly, warm yourself up. Embracing the cold weather with a cozy cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate or whatever other warm beverage you prefer is a super effective way to warm yourself up and enjoy this time of year.


Now that you have the right information, do you think your home is prepped for the winter? If you think your doors or windows need a little bit of work this season, give us a call! We live for making sure you’re getting the best service. We want you to worry less about the maintenance of your home, and focus more on filling it with great memories during the holiday season.