Here in Olathe, we're always on the lookout for ways to stay warm during the cold winter months, especially if we can do it without cranking up the thermostat and, with it, the utility bills. At Davenport Service Company, we know that one of the best ways to maximize your home heating throughout the winter is to schedule regular preventive maintenance for your furnace and HVAC system. But there are all kinds of other tips and life hacks that can help to create warmer living spaces during the coldest months of the year. We've combed the internet and gathered a few of the best (and weirdest) ones here. Some are better (and safer) than others, though, so take whatever you read online with a grain of salt, and always use your best judgement when it comes to trying any "life hack" you find on the internets. But without further ado…
Save Your Hot Shower or Bath Water
If you want to stay warm and save energy, there's no point in heating something up twice. In the winter time, you probably enjoy hot baths and showers, but it takes energy to heat that water, so let the already-heated water work for you by leaving the water in the tub after a shower or bath so that the heat stored in the water helps to warm up the room. You can do the same thing after the dishwasher completes its cycle as well. The increased humidity will help you to feel warmer, too!
Use That Leftover Oven Heat
The same goes for the oven! If you've been baking, let that hot air work on the rest of your house, too. When you shut the oven off, just open the oven door a crack and let the heat into your kitchen. Of course, doing this around small children or pets can be dangerous, so if you use the oven this way, please, be careful!
Don't Bother with the Fireplace
We all love a roaring fire on a cold winter night, but your wood-burning fireplace is actually not a very good way to keep your home warm. In fact, it can actually draw hot air out of your house and send it right up the chimney rather than keeping everything toasty. Oxygen is an important element of a fire, after all, so that crackling blaze is actually pulling in a lot of air. Think twice before you fire up the hearth this holiday season, and maybe go with one of those yule logs on Netflix instead.
Move the Living Room Sofa
Make sure that your sofa or your favorite recliner isn't blocking any vents or positioned right in front of the radiator. It may feel nice when you're sitting right there, but it's also keeping heat from circulating through the rest of your house, and it'll cost you more to keep the thermostat turned up. You'll probably have to move some furniture when it's time to set up the Christmas tree anyway, so when you do, make sure no pieces of furniture are obstructing air flow.
Change the Drapes, Drop the Rugs
Your house loses a lot of heat through windows and doors, even when they're properly sealed and well-insulated. You can cut down on that heat loss by using heavy drapes in the winter that help to keep warm air in and cold air out. Open the drapes during the day to take advantage of the sun's heat, and then close them when the sun goes down to keep that heat inside where it belongs. You can also take advantage of rugs to help keep your feet warm. Hot air rises, which means that floors can get chilly in the wintertime. Rugs help insulate your feet from the coldest bits.
Take a Hot Water Bottle to Bed
Have you ever watched a TV show or movie set around the turn of the century and noticed that the characters will place hot water bottles under the blankets at the foot of their bed? This actually works and can help keep your feet warm all night. Just make sure you use a properly insulated hot water bottle, as uninsulated vessels can leak in the night, which leads to an unpleasant (and very chilly) wake up call. Some people accomplish a similar effect with heating pads or electric blankets, but those carry their own risks.
Unpack the Bubble Wrap
This is one of the weirdest tips we've found in our online searches for ways to keep the house cozy warm while keeping the heating bill down: Cover the inside of your windows with bubble wrap. It certainly sounds like it would do the trick, but bubble wrap will probably also clash with your holiday décor.
Build a Flower Pot Heater
Some quick googling can tell you how to make a "flower pot heater" using a candle and two clay flower pots, but here at Davenport Service Company, we can't say that we recommend it. Be careful! Anything that incorporates an open flame also brings with it an added risk of fire that you probably don't want to expose your family to. Maybe just pick up some cozy wool socks and a new holiday sweater instead. You'll be warm in no time!
Preventive Maintenance for Your Furnace!
Whatever else you do, the very best way to stay warm this winter is to make sure that you get regular preventive maintenance for your furnace. And we're not just saying that because Davenport Service Company provides "Customer First" furnace and HVAC maintenance in Olathe. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that nearly half of your utility bills come from heating and cooling your home, and HVAC units that aren't regularly serviced tend to lose efficiency, costing up to 22% more each year to generate the same amount of heat. Fortunately, there's Davenport's VIP Program, which provides preventive maintenance for your furnace as well as lots of other benefits all year round!
To learn more about our VIP Program or to schedule preventive maintenance for your furnace, call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222 today!