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When winter comes, turning on the heat is the first step most people take to warm the inside of their homes. However, there are more accessible and more cost-effective ways to keep your homes warm throughout the winter.

Here are five tips to keep your home warm without resorting to turning up the heat:

1. Change Your Fan Blade Direction

Turning your fan on to warm up may seem counterintuitive because your fan is engineered to push cool air toward you by drawing warm air away from you. You expect your fan to cool you off.

Changing the direction of your fan blades will have the opposite effect: Your fan will pull warm air that’s trapped near the ceiling down toward the room. Fans should rotate in a clockwise direction to increase heat distribution in the winter.

If your fans aren’t sufficient, consider a space heater. You can use Xtreme heaters to keep an RV, camper, garage, or boat cabin warm. You can also find many space heaters across the web that are excellent at home heating solutions.

2. Work With the Windows

During the day, if the sun is out, it’s a good idea to open the windows to let in the daylight. The sunlight will raise the temperature inside your house naturally.

When your home has warmed up or when the sun goes down, cover the windows with heavy curtains. This will keep out any winter drafts while also keeping in the air warmed by the sun. Blocking cool air drafts is the best way to stay warm indoors.

3. Set Down a Draft Trap

Cold air can creep in through window and door seams, causing you to overuse your heating source during winter. To keep the wind out, cover these seams with draft traps.

Draft traps are long bunches of fabric or silicone that sit underneath door frames and window sills, physically blocking out the cooler air.

4. Drink Warm Drinks

When the temperature dips, people drink more hot drinks like hot chocolate and tea. Studies have shown that hot drinks don’t drastically raise your internal body temperature as you drink them, but they can affect your temperature over time. Your hands and fingers can warm up on the mug as your body heats up by burning the calories from the hot drink.

5. Close Your Fireplace Flue

If you have a fireplace, it’s vital to make sure that the flue is closed when it’s not in use. The vent is a direct path to the outdoors, and cold air can enter your home if the chimney is open. When using your fireplace, check your vent before lighting the fire and after the fire is out.

There are several ways to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the winter. If your heater is out, or if you’re trying to save money by not heating your home as much, these tips can help you keep warm when it’s cold out!


Winter is fast approaching, and now is the time to ensure your home heating systems are in efficient, working order so that you don’t have to go cold through the winter months. Some of you will, unfortunately, find that your current heating systems are well and truly due for replacement.

But wait, before you go and replace your existing heater with the exact same old system you always choose, first consider these relatively unknown heating types that have some fantastic benefits over more conventional heating methods.

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating is taking heat from the earth itself and transferring it into your home.

How it works

A heat pump situated above ground moves water throughout a series of buried underground pipes.

These pipes go deep enough below ground to access the earth’s natural heat, this heat is then absorbed by the pipes and the water within.

The heated water is then pumped back to the building where it is used to heat the house.

The water is then recirculated back through the pipes, and the process continues like this.


Main Benefits

  • Considered a renewable resource
  • Very efficient
  • Cheap to run

You can learn more about geothermal heating at the EPA website here.

Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves have been around for a while now, but are still relatively unknown despite their impressive efficiency.

They involve burning biomass pellets in a fireplace like system to provide radiant heat.

How it works

Pellet stoves are similar to your standard wood fireplace, but with a few key differences:

  • They burn a pellet fuel commonly made from waste products
  • The pellets are fed automatically into a specially designed burn chamber which burns the pellets very efficiently.
  • The heat is captured by the stove and transferred by a fan to the space to be heated.

Main Benefits

  • Very efficient
  • Pellets are made from waste products that would typically be thrown out
  • Provides radiant heat, just like a wood fireplace
  • Low emissions due to high burn efficiency

 In-Floor Heating

In-floor heating is exactly what it sounds like, heating that is situated in the floor of your home – usually in the concrete slab.

How It works

An in-floor heating system uses a series of electric coils or pipes filled with warm water to heat up the floor itself and radiates heat up through the floor into the desired areas.

Main Benefits

  • Long lasting – will outlast almost any other system
  • With a warm floor, the thermostat can be set to a lower temperature while remaining comfortable
  • Totally silent – no noisy fans
  • Can be selectively installed to heat only specific rooms or areas

Active Solar Heating

Active solar heating involves solar collectors that are placed on the roof or ground in direct sunlight.

How It Works

Water is pumped through these collectors to absorb the solar energy and returned to a holding tank.

The warm water is then pushed through a heating coil, which has a fan blowing air past the heating coil, and then into the area to be heated.

There is a backup electric heating system for when cloudy days prevent the water from heating up to sufficient temperatures.

Main Benefits

  • Cheap to run – Uses only a small amount of electricity
  • Environmentally friendly

Choosing The Right Heating System

As you can see, there are many more options for heating your home than you are probably aware of.

Do yourself a favor and take your time to do the research and pick the right heating system for our home. Remember: just because a heating system is the most popular, doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you.



It is human nature to look for ways to cut corners. Preventative maintenance often seems to homeowners like something optional, a thing that can be put off indefinitely in favor of something else. Those who follow this philosophy typically find themselves regretting it when the tasks they’ve neglected lead to serious — and expensive — problems. Below, you’ll find several suggestions to make sure you keep up.

Yard Maintenance


Image via Flickr by dotpolka

A visitor’s first impression of your home will be your yard. A wild and unkempt lawn makes its owner seem unwilling to keep up with lawn maintenance. Trim your grass regularly and rake the leaves during the appropriate seasons. Above all, though, avoid using your yard to store random items. Few things leave as bad an impression as an overgrown front lawn filled with auto parts and old home appliances.

Cleaning the Gutters

Nobody likes climbing up to the gutters and getting the gunk out of them. The gutters, however, are a crucial tool to keep your house in working order. They pull water away from the house’s frame, where moisture can cause rot and weaken the structure. Inevitably, these gutters will clog with leaves and other detritus, which can cause them to back up and eventually cease working altogether. While cleaning the debris from the system, you can also take the time to inspect the gutters and downspouts, making sure everything is attached and without major holes or faults.

HVAC Maintenance

Your place’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system is one of the most important facets of home comfort. A broken HVAC can leave you, your family, and guests alternately sweating and freezing at the mercy of the elements raging outside. Changing air filters and cleaning the vents are things that you can do yourself, but other tasks must be handled on a regular home inspection and a regular maintenance visit by an expert. Routine maintenance can extend the life of your system and keep your AC running efficiently for longer, in turn, reducing HVAC energy costs.

Check for Cracks and Holes

Weaknesses in your home’s construction, coupled with the efforts of vermin and other animals, can lead to developing holes in the sides of your home; Rain and snow can do the same to your driveway. This can lead to pests and moisture entering your house and your driveway becoming an obstacle course. Every few months, or at the least once a year, take time to slowly walk the perimeter of your home, looking at the concrete and the facade of the property. Mark off any weaknesses you find and come back with sealing foam for the holes in the house.

Owning a home is a big responsibility. Unlike renting, you take on a great deal of liability for the property. Moreover, any faults that develop will reduce the value of your house, damaging the resale on what is probably the most valuable thing you own. Maintenance is your primary way to diminish the impact of deterioration on your domicile. Keep up on your prevention now, or find yourself paying for it later.