Washington DC is known for having a relatively mild climate, so during the fall and spring, most Washingtonians save on heating and air because it rarely has to be used. But on those days or weeks when we really dip into the cold, heating costs can skyrocket. Here are some easy ways to cut down on your heating bills this winter.
Seal It Up
The biggest way for your home to lose the heat it has is through holes that allow heat to escape. Sealing up windows, doors and holes in the wall will help trap the warm air you have in the building. These easy-to-fix areas include weatherstripping around your doors and windows. Holes can be found around ducts and pipes. One common, and often overlooked, area is in the electrical boxes. The wiring is usually roughed in and not, sealed making it a perfect place for heat to escape. These can be sealed using a foaming fill that comes in a spray can. These can all be picked up at your local hardware store. One of the most popular hardware stores in Bethesda is Strosniders.
6930 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
Always friendly and helpful, Strosniders carries everything you need to seal up your home. The knowledgeable staff will help answer any questions you may have on items you need and how to use them.
Use The Heat You Have
Heat is produced every day through laundry or cooking. Instead of shutting the door to the basement or kitchen, leave them open or use the rooms adjacent to them to keep warm while dinner is on the stove. Many Washington homes have fireplaces in them. Heating the house with a wood fire can be a great way to generate heat one evening, but when not in use, be sure to close the fireplace to prevent drafts. If you don’t use your fireplace that often, there are chimney blocks that will plug up the hole to help preserve the heat.
Heat The Space You Need
One of the easiest and most effective ways to heat a room is with a space heater. A space heater allows you to turn down the thermostat heating the entire house so that you can turn up the heat only in the room you’re currently using. Of course, using heavy sweaters, blankets and a warm cup of tea will help you further than just the heater.
Frager’s Hardware Store
1115 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
For those that live in the Capitol Hill and Eastern Market area, Frager’s is a great old fashioned hardware store to help you with all of your weatherproofing and insulation needs this winter. It offers a rental center where you can get things like party supplies and home improvement needs. For example, if you’d like to install more insulation in your attic, Frager’s offers an insulation blowing machine for rent.
Old School Hardware
3219 Mount Pleasant St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
The name says it all. Old School Hardware offers everything you need for home repair. The selection is decent given that it’s a tiny store in the middle of the Mount Pleasant area, but if you need something in a pinch, it offers all of your hardware needs at affordable prices. The staff is friendly and always willing to help you out. It’s truly a neighborhood gem.
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Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture
Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.