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Energy efficient ways to stay warm when it is downright freezing

This post originally appeared on the JustGreen Community website.

The polar vortex has caused near-record low temperatures across North America and had many of us muttering between frozen breaths, “climate change go home!”

There are countless things we can do to help slow the effects of climate change, but what can we do right now to help stop the sh-sh-shivering without making things worse for the environment? While there’s something to be said for a Snuggie and a few pairs of ultra-plush socks, here are a few tips if you plan on leaving your couch:

  1. Add a Layer of Insulation to Your Windows
    When the temperature drops, our first instinct is to crank the thermostat up, resulting in an increase in energy consumption, the growth of one’s carbon footprint and a steep hike in the monthly utility bill. Eliminate all three of these unfortunate consequences by hanging insulated curtains on your windows (and even on your doors). For a minimal, one-time cost, insulated curtains keep warm air from leaving through your windows— a major source of heat loss in most homes. Bonus: These same curtains will keep your home cooler in the summer months at no additional cost.
  2. Close Off Empty Rooms
    Have all of your out-of-town guests decided to hightail it to Florida for the winter? Great, seal off that empty guest room and save big time on your  energy expenditures. Make sure to close the vents and keep the door shut tight to prevent cold air from escaping out of the space.
  3. Use a Space Heater
    Space heaters can be a great, energy-efficient way to heat up a small area of your house for a short period of time, say while you’re relaxing in your den reading the paper or hanging out in the living room. There are lots of models that have eco-friendly features, such as thermostats and timers.

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