Transition from Fall into Winter in 3 Easy Steps

The leaves are changing colors and the days seem to be getting shorter, which means one thing: fall is definitely here! If you’re like us at Commit to Green, you may be in the midst of transitioning your wardrobe and thermostat to prepare for the cooler weather.

As you make the switch to sweater weather, let’s break down three ways you can do some fall cleaning while saving energy as you transition your home from fall to winter.

1. Declutter your home

We all have those spaces in our homes that pile up with junk over time, hidden behind closed doors and away from view. All of that junk hinders air flow, especially if you are trying to heat your home. Perhaps for a fall project you can tackle areas of your home that seem to be filled with stuff and see where you can downsize.

There are responsible ways to reduce the amount of stuff in your home beyond donating or sending them to your local thrift stores. Are there family members and friends that could use some of your gently loved goods? What about your local Buy Nothing group? If you are lucky, you may be able to sell your items!

Of course, if there are some keepsakes that you may not be able to give up, and that’s okay! There are plenty of organization tips that you could try; the popular organization method that took the world by storm at one point in time was the KonMari method.

Next, take a look at your whole home, and check out all of the areas where your heating systems are. Are you blocking air vents or heaters with furniture? This could be a great time to rearrange your rooms so it maximizes air flow (and minimizes potential fire
hazards).

2. Bundle up

It is very easy to raise the temperature on your thermostat to a level that is comfortable for you, but your wallet may not be too happy once you see that energy bill. One tip sweater lovers swear by is bundling up and wearing layers - yes, that includes socks too! 

With added layers, you can lower the temperature by a degree or two and watch the savings on your next bill (one suggestion is to set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20 degrees Celsius in the daytime, and lowering it at night when you go to bed). Pro tip: if you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, you can lower the temperature even more to save costs on heating a vacant house.

Feeling cold at night when you are going to sleep? You can add additional blankets to your bed to help keep you warm, and wear socks on your feet - a study conducted by Nature found that people actually fall asleep faster when their feet are bundled up!

3. Increase your energy efficiency

Do you feel a draft at the doorways or windows? There may be an air leak that is making your home much colder than it should be. This helpful DIY home energy audit provides some good insight to assessing your home and figuring out where you might want to make adjustments.

As you walk around your home and check your windows, you might think to yourself, when was the last time I cleaned them? According to the Department of Energy, energy loss can occur with improper maintenance of windows. As we write this and think about our houseplants in our home, we want to make sure they get the full force of the sun’s rays coming in through our windows, so we would want the same kind of warmth for ourselves too! Plus, it helps cut costs on the energy bill if we can get free heating from the sun.

Transitioning your home from fall to winter is no small feat, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous task either. Think about the payoffs once you are finished: you can enjoy a tidy home, a smaller number on that energy bill, and the ability to cozy up in your favorite sweater and blanket as you dive into a good book or movie.

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