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Green Ways to Keep Warm This Winter

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Cooler days are on the horizon. As the mercury drops, energy consumption to heat the home tends to rise. Individuals concerned about making environmentally friendly heating choices may wonder just what can be done to stay green -- and save some green in the process.
 
The average North American homeowner spends about $800 to $1000 for the winter season heating his or her home. Those who rely on natural gas tend to spend less overall than homeowners who use propane, electric or oil to fuel their furnaces. Reducing reliance on heating fuel benefits the planet and most people's wallets.
 
While it may not be possible to turn off the heat altogether this season, there are ways to reduce dependency by making a few changes.
 
* Get active. Re-evaluate exercise regimens. Exercising produces internal body heat and can help people resist the temptation to turn up the thermostat. What's more, active people are less likely to loaf around the house, where inactivity can lead to feelings of chilliness.
 
* Block drafts. Now is the time to seal any drafts around windows and doors. Caulking is a permanent fix, or weather-proof tape and plastic can be used. For those who want a little extra protection, draft "snakes" or other stuffed products can be placed on the bottom of doors to keep warm air in a room.
 
* Revamp the radiator. If the home uses radiators for heating, simple aluminum foil placed behind the radiator can direct heat into the room more effectively. Radiators that lie on the exterior walls of homes may lose heat to the outdoors, so these are the first that should be targeted.
 
* Bundle up. People can don warmer clothes to wear around the house if it means being able to turn the thermostat down. Instead of trodding around the house wearing shorts and going barefoot, wear slippers and sweat pants. Layering clothes enables individuals to customize clothing for feelings of comfort.
 
* Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat enables homeowners to set the temperature according to room activity. For example, the heat can be turned down when residents are out at work or sleeping.
 
* Open the blinds and curtains.Let the sun shine in when the sun is strong. The rays will help to heat the home naturally. Be sure to also cut back shrubs and trees that block sunlight from entering the house.
 
* Create a cozy atmosphere.Light candles, the fireplace or a woodburning stove and cuddle around wearing a blanket.
 
* Enjoy hearty foods.Whip up plenty of stick-to-your-ribs meals, such as stews and soups. Not only will cooking warm up the house with ambient heat from the stove (Warning: Do not use the oven to heat a home), rich foods will take longer to digest, causing the body to produce more heat during digestion. TF10B032