Your home doesn’t require extensive upgrades to save on the utility bills this winter. Simpler solutions exist as cheaper alternatives to long-term home investments, such as adding insulation, heating system upgrades, and purchasing new windows, doors or appliances.
One of the most economical ways to save on your heating bill is to use a draft snake. Place these on either side of the base of a door to stop heat from escaping through the bottoms of doors. This Twin Draft Guard slips under and covers both sides of the door (includes video on how it works). One draft guard: $10. (800) 829-1133; www.shopgetorgaznized.com
Gaiam Draft Dodger offers a tad more stylish snake that does not slip under the door. It is covered with ThermaFleece (sheep’s wool), trimmed with satin piping and stuffed with poly fibers. One draft dodger: $20. (877) 989-6321; www.gaiam.com
The colder weather, the more people stay inside, and the more the electricity bill takes a hit. The Smart Strip LCG3 can save money on the most used time-killer: the TV. When all the TV and electronics are plugged into the strip (DVD players, video game systems, etc.), everything will shut off when the TV is turned off. Some outlets are always on, for recording devices and date/time devices. One 10-plug Smart Strip: $36. (866) 216-1072; www.amazon.com
It doesn’t make sense to keep homes warm and cozy when no one is home. Prevent this by using a programmable thermostat. These can be programmed to different target temperatures for four periods of the day of every day of the week. Many programmable thermostats from Honeywell can help save on this heating bill this winter. Prices vary: $30 to $300. www.yourhome.honeywell.com
More about staying green in winter
• Warm up with these wintery products.
• Learn how to sow seeds in winter.
• These winter projects will spice up the season.