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7 Steps to Stay Warm and Save Energy This Christmas

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola



From flipping the rotation on your ceiling fans to opening the blinds so the sun can shine in, Alabama News Center is offering up seven ways to stay warm without raising your energy bill. Here are those tips and a few extra ideas to go along with them:

1. Flip the rotation on your ceiling fans to run clockwise, which sends warm air trapped on your ceiling back down to you. While you’re at it, consider getting an air purifier so you can keep all that recirculating air as clean as possible. Indoor air pollution is a real concern in all types of weather, but particularly in winter, when cold viruses are more likely going around.

Remember: Not all filters work with the same efficiency to remove pollutants from your home and no one filter can remove all pollutants. Overall, photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is one of the best technologies available. Rather than merely filtering the air, PCO actually cleans the air using ultraviolet light.

2. Mind the thermostat. Keep it at 68 and dress for the temperature instead of heating up the whole house. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard the common advice to “dress the baby, not the bed,” as a safe measure to keep your infant from suffocating under excess bedding or pillows.

Treat yourself the same way: Instead of “dressing” the whole house in heat and added energy expense, wear warmer socks and shoes and add a sweater or layers of clothing that will keep you warm. And — remember to always keep the room temperature between 60 and 68 degrees F at night, as it will help you sleep more soundly.

3. Opening the blinds not only will let the sun shine in and warm you up, but also will expose you to much-needed daylight. If you’re in a job where you have the benefit of a window or two, open those blinds and let the sun come in and perk you up on cold days. Studies show that sunlight helps your circadian rhythm work better — with an unexpected benefit at night that can help you fall to sleep faster at night.

4. Do a check around the house, plugging drafts and closing vents that let cold, outside air sneak in. This is self-evident, as air drafts are the equivalent of sucking dollars right out of your pocket. Use a rolled-up towel to line drafty doors, and make sure to check dryer vents and seal around them, as those are places that both cold air and unwanted critters, from bugs to mice, can come in.

5. Give your water heater a blanket. No kidding, keeping your water heater warm will help you save money all year-round. Water heater blankets come in various sizes and they’re not hard to put on. Just wrap one around your water heater and see how much faster hot water is delivered to your faucet — and watch the savings on your energy bill while you’re at it.

6. If you use space heaters, confine them to the area where you are, and try to buy one that has a thermostat you can control. Since just about all space heaters are electric, being able to keep the heat at a steady temperature — again, 68 degrees — is a cost-saving measure.Also, if you use a space heater in the area where you stay most of the day, you can then turn down the thermostat to the whole house.

Also avoid unvented kerosene heaters, which you not only can’t control temperature-wise, but which can exacerbate asthma or other respiratory conditions.

7. Close the flue on the fireplace and don’t use it. I know, fireplaces are the equivalent of all the warm, fuzzy things you think about when snow arrives. But did you know that fireplaces such out energy dollars too? Even when they’re being used, warm air is going up and out of your home. And, like those kerosene heaters, fireplaces can generate toxic particles and pollution that can irritate your airway and lungs.