There are all sorts of ways to help make your space more comfortable this time of year. After all, this is the season for cuddling up with hot cocoa! If you’re concerned about climbing energy bills, fear not. Keeping cozy all through the winter relies on a lot more than just your thermostat settings.
1. Winter Home Energy Efficiency
Of course, having a good furnace or heat pump is crucial this time of year. (Be sure to call us at 317-238-3961 if you need a hand!) But even if all of that equipment is working fine, you can still make your home a little more snug with one of these energy-saving wintertime tips. A quick home improvement project can make a big difference to boost your home’s efficiency ratings.
Locate and Fix Leaks
Warm air can escape through leaky doors and windows. If it feels like you’re always getting a slight draft around these spots, it’s probably time to add new caulk or weatherstripping. This will help keep your heat inside, where it belongs. You’ll also want to look for any gaps around the chimney and remember to keep the fireplace damper firmly shut whenever it’s not in use.
Find Your Sunny Spots
You can also save money by making the most of the sunlight that hits your home. One simple trick is to keep your curtains open on south-facing windows. When the sun is bright, your home can heat up naturally and help you save energy. Then at night, just draw your shades and other window treatments to lock in the warmth. This lets your curtains work as an extra barrier to hold back cold drafts.
Buy a Better Thermostat
Turning down the temperature when you aren’t at home can help you get some additional energy savings. For a lot of homeowners, the best way to get these benefits is with a programmable thermostat. These gadgets are great investments for homeowners looking to lower their energy bill for the long-run. A programmable thermostat lets you set a schedule for your heating and cooling equipment, so you can get the best efficiency every day of the week.
2. Whole-Home Humidifier Benefits
Outside of high energy bills, another nuisance during the winter tends to be dry air. Dealing with scratchy throats can put a really damper on your holiday spirit. (Not to mention getting static shocks whenever you pet the cat or dog.)
Dry air also leaves our skin feeling dry and chapped in winter. Instead of relying on lotion alone, we like whole-house humidifiers. Unlike portable units, these systems address dry air problems in every room. Having proper humidity levels all throughout your home helps give you softer skin, less static, and better breathing all winter long.
As an added bonus, whole-house humidifiers also help make your home feel warmer. This is because dry air naturally seems colder than air with some humidity. By introducing a little more moisture into your air, your home can actually be more comfortable in winter—without even raising the temperature on your thermostat!
3. Smart Home Holiday Cooking
To really seal the deal on your home’s coziness, be sure to embrace home cooking. Whether you’re entertaining friends and family or just hanging out on a quiet night, spending a little time in the kitchen will definitely make your house feel more like a home.
Fixing meals in your crockpot is great this time of year because you can come home to a hot meal after checking out any one of your favorite winter activities around Indianapolis. It’s even better if you’re cozy at home while it cooks. The smells from your slow cooker can definitely help spread some cheer! Here’s a recipe for one of our favorites:
Crockpot Lentil and Pasta Stew
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 hours
½ lb. smoked kielbasa sausage, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup cubed, peeled potatoes
¾ cup sliced carrots
1 celery rib, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
5 cups beef broth
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup uncooked ditalini (or other small pasta)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. salt
shredded romano cheese to serve
- Brown kielbasa in oil and butter in a large skillet.
- Add potatoes, onion, carrots, and celery to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Transfer ingredients to a large slow cooker.
- Stir in broth, lentils, bay leaf, pepper and salt.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until lentils are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Stir pasta into slow cooker. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with cheese and serve!
All of us here at LCS Heating & Cooling wish you a warm and bright holiday season! If you need any emergency help with your equipment, you can always give us a call at 317-238-3961.