It seems like, without fail, every year during the winter months you hear about the rising cost of heating oil, coal and other fuel sources—usually right before that huge rate hike the power company sticks you with. Well, what can a person do about heating up a cold room, when they have little or no funds? The answer is, for the most part, the exact reverse of what you would do cool down a hot room. There are some rather inexpensive physical and mental changes that a person can make to themselves and their home to help offset and combat the rising cost of energy.
- Paint. The color that you paint a room is going to make a larger impression on the overall temperature of a room than you would think. Use some of the warm colors on the palate in your decorating scheme. Either paint the walls in varying shades of red, orange or yellow or use items with those color in your decoration scheme to help improve the "feel" within the room, and make it a little more cozy.
- Breezes. Unlike during the summer, breezes in the winter are not a nice thing. Try to eliminate any breezes in your home by winterizing, and properly weather stripping the doors and windows throughout the house. This alone is going to help increase the overall warmth, as well as lowering the average heating bill.
- Dress. By dressing in clothing that is made of thicker materials and more appropriate for the season, even while indoors, you are going to be warmer overall. The goal is to be warm enough that you could honestly say "Turn down the heat!" not because of the bill, but because you are warm.
- Thermostat. Keep the thermostat set a comfortable, but low, setting. My family and I keep ours set at about 65o, which while cool is still warm enough for all concerned. The lower setting ensures that you use less energy for heating than you would with a higher setting.
- Shades/Curtains. Again, unlike during the summer, in the winter you want to keep the shades open as much as you can during the sunlight hours. This allows the sunlight (and its heat) to enter in, while not allowing it to exit again, similar in principle to a greenhouse. A greenhouse, even in the dead of winter, is warm enough that flowers and vegetables can grow even though it is not the correct season.
- Think "Bermuda!" Once again, thoughts have an influence over the body. If you think of warmer places or times, then your body is going to soon start behaving like it is in fact warmer than it truly is.
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