Thursday, November 17, 2011

5 Tips for Capturing a Little Extra Heat

Are you still freezing yer buns?  We really have not yet begun to freeze around here, but those of us who are keeping the house heat set on "low" know that it helps to capture every spare degree of heat.  Here are five ways to make your house toastier without spending any extra money:

1.  Reset your ceiling fans.  This was once a matter of great debate between my father and I, so let me say for the record that your fan should be set with  the downward edge of the blade going forward, which is usually clockwise.  Many fans will settle the debate for you by putting "winter" and "summer" on the switch.  This pushes the warm air at the ceiling downward, which keeps the living area of the room warmer.  We don't have ceiling fans at Casa FC&G other than in the sunroom, but they do make a difference.

2.  Stop the dishwasher mid-dry-cycle:  This is one of my favorite tips.  I set the dishwasher to do a dry cycle as part of the normal wash, then stop it midway through and open the dishwasher door.  The dishes are already dry and as sterilized as they are going to get, and all that lovely steam and heat comes out and fills the kitchen.

3.  Leave the clothes dryer open a minute or two:  If you like to fold your clothes in the laundry room, leave the dryer door open while you do it.  The heat inside the dryer drum will come out into the room.  Be careful, because depending on how well your dryer is vented to the outside and how secure the baffles are, you can quickly get outside cold air.  But that initial burst of warmth is wonderful.

4.  Leave the pot on the stove:  If you boil pasta or potatoes, lift the food out with a strainer or slotted spoon and leave the boiling pot on the stove (with the burner off) while you eat.  The heat will escape into the room.  This is also a great excuse for making stock during the winter.

5. Open the oven door:  My all-time favorite.  When you do you regularly-scheduled baking, open the oven door when you are done to get a burst of 350 degree air coming into your kitchen.

The Analysis

Fast:  None of these ideas should take more than a few seconds to implement.  Would I steer you into a long, drawn-out project?

Cheap:  You probably won't notice a huge difference in your heat bills, but every degree counts in the winter.

Good:  Keeping warm while saving money is what we are all about!
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1 comment :

  1. My dishwaher has an "air dry" setting which means NO heat it used. However, the dishes are hot and steamy as soon as the they finish the rinse cycle. I open the dishwasher door,pull out the racks, and wipe water that has settled into "bottoms up" position of jars, glasses, rims of things. If I want to be in the kitchen, working, I just leave the dishwasher cracked a bit and pull out the top shelf enough to hold the door open. With the ceiling fan set for winter or summer, the dishes dry just fine without using extra energy and I get a blast of heat.

    I save drying for morning in order to get that extra bit of heat in the house.