Winters can be true tests of survival.
Simple things like starting a car can suddenly be a serious task.
But there’s one overlooked struggle that hits hard during the winter.
It’s easy for some people to overlook the cold as a serious weather event, but that can be a mistake.
Each year in the United States, over 1,300 people die as a result of hypothermia.
The Survival Rule of Three says that you can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in adverse conditions, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
Exposure to harsh cold for three hours will put your life at serious risk.
Some pockets of the country experience temperatures of 50 below zero and colder with wind chill, so preparing properly for the cold is a necessity.
But one aspect that gets overlooked is the toll winter can take on your wallet.
Your power bill can surge during the winter if you leave the heater on endlessly, especially in certain areas where utilities really gouge you.
Here are some ways to stay warm while also saving yourself some money.
First, keep your vents and radiators clear.
Be sure that you don’t have rugs, furniture, or other large obstructions directly in front of your radiator or vent.
This allows for warm air to circulate properly, which puts less stress on your furnace.
It also lowers the chances of creating a fire hazard.
Next, close your curtains to trap heat.
Approximately 10-25% of your home’s heat loss is due to your windows.
During daylight hours if it’s not overcast, allow the sun’s rays to heat up your home.
But at night or when sunlight isn’t hitting your windows, have the curtains or blinds drawn.
This will help with insulation and keeping heat inside the house.
If a particular window isn’t covered by curtains or blinds, you can use a blanket as a substitute.
Next, seal any leaks that your house might have.
Sealing leaks can help reduce your heating bill by 10-20%.
When the temperature is really frigid, you will be better able to identify any drafts coming into your home.
Doors, windows, outlets, and pipes are a few of the areas where air leaks can occur.
Leaks will cause your heater to work extra hard to pump hot air into your home, so use caulk to seal up any noticeable leaks.
Also, take advantage of your fireplace if you have one.
Log fires are very effective for heating up a room, and they can save money on heater bills.
If you use your fireplace frequently, you can better limit the usage of your thermostat.
If you do use the thermostat, make sure the heat is never on when nobody’s home. That’s just an unnecessary use of energy.
And if you can stand to lower your thermostat, you can save serious money during the winter.
Generally speaking, you can save upwards of 3% on your heating bill per degree lowered over a 24-hour span.
So dropping the thermostat a few degrees and using the fireplace and extra blankets can save you quite a bit.