In the greater New Orleans area, the weather can change from warm and muggy to wet and cold at the drop of a hat. With the recent weather change taking a turn for the colder, it can be tough to adjust. Many people are cranking the heat up at the home and in their cars. However, if you’d like to save a little on your electricity bill while still staying toasty in these cold winter months, there are a few things you can do.
First of all, make sure all your doors and windows are closed securely. Any openings can let the cold air right in, and can make the your apartment drafty. After ensuring that all openings to outside are closed properly, also make a quick check to make sure your doors and windows are as air-tight as possible. Check to see if the weather stripping around your doors is doing its job and the caulking around your windows is keeping the air out as well.
While many people assume curtains are strictly for blocking sunlight or keeping your apartment cool, they can also be tremendously useful for keeping cold air out as well. The heavier the curtains, the better they’ll be at blocking any window drafts that may be present. When the sun is shining, you can open the curtains to allow the warmth in, then close them when it’s overcast outside or once night falls.
Close off any rooms you’re not using. A closed door is all it takes to make an unused room another barrier between you and the frigid outdoors. It also stops air from circulating as much, which reduces heat loss. You can also opt to use smaller rooms to ensure that you don’t have to heat as much space. If you have a bedroom that’s cozier than your living room, make that the common area when people are around. This will keep the space warmer, and give you less of an area to account for when trying to keep the room warm.
Dress warmly, and keep a light jacket on while inside. A hat is a great accessory to have when the temperature drops. A turtleneck sweater can also work wonders when it comes to keeping you warm. Dress in layers, especially with wool or cotton clothing. Wear slippers or warm socks. A comfortable throw or blanket while indoors can also keep you cozy without having to crank up the thermostat.
If you have wood or tile floors, try putting a rug down. This will keep the floor from feeling as cold, which can help quite a bit when you’re having to traverse back and forth. Another idea to stay warm is to drink warm beverages. Tea, hot cocoa, or coffee are not only delicious treats, but practical beverages this time of year!
One of the most effective ways of staying warm without cranking up the central heat is to use a space heater in the room that you’re in. Space heaters tend to use much less electricity than a central unit would, and you can carry the heater with you whenever you go from room to room. Not only will it save you money, but you may find the localized warmth of a space heater comforting when it’s blustery and cold outside!