Whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow this week, we know we’re in for at least a few more weeks of cold winter weather. Here are five steps you can take to help beat the winter blues and up your home’s cozy game:
Dim the Lights
A lighting upgrade can be a quick and super cost-effective way to improve atmosphere. A simple swap such as changing from bright white bulbs to warm white bulbs can make even the gloomiest winter days feel cozier. Nowadays, even energy-saving LED bulbs come in warmer colors for a softer, more flattering glow. Adding dimmer switches is another low-effort, high-impact way to change a room’s atmosphere and save on your electricity bill.
Use Your Smart Stat for Better Sleep
Most of us sleep better when temperatures are slightly cooler—between 60 and 67 degrees, according to the Sleep Foundation. However, that can feel pretty brisk when it comes time to get out from under the covers. If you have a programmable or learning thermostat, you can set a cooler temperature overnight, and then to automatically warm back up in the morning. (Plus, according to Energy.gov, you can save as much as 10% a year on your heating costs by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting—for example, while you’re sleeping.)
This may not be a cost-effective solution for certain systems such as radiant floor heat, so talk to your JK Service technician for guidance.
Leaky doors and windows can be a huge source of heat loss in the winter. Add stylish insulation to drafty windows with thick, heavy curtains. Draft stoppers and weather stripping around both exterior doors and windows as well as interior doors to unconditioned space such as attics, garages, mudrooms, etc can also make a significant improvement to your comfort and your heating bill, especially for older homes.
Candles are a surefire way to make a space feel cozy and smell great, but they can become a fire hazard as well as a problem for your heating & cooling system over time as soot and wax can clog or damage the air filter. Consider bringing in seasonal scents with a candle warmer, oil diffuser, or simmer pot (which, as an added bonus, will add some extra humidity to your home).
Not ready to give up candles quite yet? Choose beeswax or soy candles over paraffin when possible, keep candle wicks trimmed to ¼ inch, and never leave a burning candle unattended.
Cold Days, Hot Water
We love a steamy shower or a long, hot bath all year long, but they feel especially nice and cozy on a chilly winter’s day. If your hot shower is less than relaxing than it should be thanks to low water pressure, inconsistent temperature, water hardness or other issues, talk to your JK Plumber for guidance at your next Precision Tune-Up.
Alternatively, if you have natural gas or propane available, you might consider upgrading to a tankless water heater. Tankless, or on-demand, water heaters only heat water as needed, meaning you never run out of hot water when you want it, AND you’re not paying to heat a tank full of water when you don’t.
Feel like your home could use an upgrade in the cozy department? The heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical experts at JK Mechanical are here to help. Contact us today for assistance.