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Umair Asif

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Winter is on the horizon, and that means you’ll probably be using your heater more than usual as the weather turns cooler. Don’t let the fear of a high heating bill keep you from using your heater on those cold days. Instead, maximize your home’s heater this winter with these tips.

Seal Your Home

Turn your home into a fortress against wind and cold drafts by sealing off your home. You can find weather stripping at most hardware stores, which helps prevent drafts from seeping in under your door frames and in your windows. A little weather stripping and caulking around your frames and windows can save yourself up to 10 percent of your monthly heating bill. You should also check around your home to see if you notice any gaps or holes around pipes, cables, or gas lines leading into your home, which can let in cold outdoor air. A quick caulking job can quickly seal up gaps and prevent air from coming in.

Protect Windows

Windows are a great source of natural light in your home, but they’re also the cause of about 25 percent of heat loss. Prevent excess heat loss by covering your windows in plastic, which stops most cold air from coming in. You can also hang coverings, such as drapes, around your windows to help catch cold air and keep your home warm and cozy.

Add Insulation

A well-insulated attic can help your furnace run efficiently. Your attic lets a good amount of air in and out of your home, which is why proper insulation is crucial. There are a variety of ways to insulate your attic, from using blowers that spray insulation around your attic to purchasing rolls of insulation fabric that you can tack up around the room. After you’ve decide what solution is best for you and you’ve finished insulating your attic, don’t forget to add some insulation to the access door, or air may end up escaping regardless.

Get Maintenance

Before cold weather hits, you should have your heater serviced by an HVAC professional. Home heating system services can keep your furnace running efficiently by opening up blocked ducts, cleaning dirty furnace parts that can slow down performance, and identifying potential problems before they end up turning into costly repairs. You should plan to have your unit serviced at the start of the season so that it’s ready to go when the weather turns cold. While your unit is being serviced, you should also take the opportunity to be sure heat registers aren’t blocked or else airflow won’t be able to get through and your unit will work harder to produce heat.

Check Your Thermostat

Energy savings can start with your thermostat, which is the gateway to your furnace. If you’re operating a new furnace with an old thermostat, you may not be getting a proper reading on your room’s temperature and your furnace will end up working overtime to heat your house. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat, which can be programmed to your preferences or be operated from your phone. Some thermostats can even learn your household’s habits and adjust itself accordingly so your unit only operates when you and your family are home.

Close Your Chimney

Fireplaces are great to look at, but a lot of warm air can escape up the chimney when they aren’t being used, which can result in a higher heating bill for you. When you aren’t using your fireplace, even if you keep your flue closed, chances are you’re still losing warm air up the chimney. Prevent this from happening by investing in an inflatable chimney balloon, which prevents heat loss and keep warm air where it belongs; in your home.

This winter season, your home can be a cozy place for you and your family if you remember to use tips to heat your home efficiently. The more efficient your furnace operates, the lower your monthly bills will be and the more money you’ll be able to keep in your pocket.

Featured Image Source: Pexels

It’s the time of the year to let your imagination run wild and design new ways to decorate your outdoors for Christmas. The 20 outdoor Christmas decorations ideas given below are affordable, fun, take a few hours to complete and are an excellent way to spend some fun time with the family and to keep children busy during the holidays. You can try as many as you like.

1.  Pine Cone Wreath

pine cone wreath christmasImage Source: Pixabay

A very simple yet beautiful DIY winter decorating ideas, a pine cone wreath is very easy to make. All you need is some pine cones, woolen string and white paint. Take out some white paint on a paper plate and dip the tips of the leaves of each pine cone. Wind some string around the bottom of each cone and tie the ends to make a pine cone wreath.

2.  Santa Porch Decoration

santa porch decorationImage Source: Flickr

Take three wooden logs of varying lengths and tie them together with red ribbon. Then, use red and white paint to create Santa faces on the top end of each log. This will make an excellent entry porch display outdoor Christmas decorations ideas.

3.  Hanging Basket

christmas decoration hangingImage Source: Pexels

This is one project where you can exercise your creativity. Take a plain wooden basket and drill three holes at equal distances on the mouth. Pull some jute string through the holes and tie the ends in a knot. Fill the basket with some evergreens and Christmas decorations or fairy lights to hang it on your porch.

4.  Porch Lanterns

porch lanternsImage Source: Pixabay

To make these simple DIY winter decorating ideas, all you need is a lantern fixed to your outside wall. Fill in the space between the wall with some red berries and evergreen leaves.

5.  Welcome Sign

welcome signImage Source: Pixabay

Welcome signs for Christmas make amazing outdoor Christmas decorations ideas for kids. Simply take an extra plank of wood and sand it nicely. Apply black paint as the background and paint WELCOME in large white letters. Add a snowman face to make it more fun.

6.  Decorative Bucket

christmas bucket decor

If you have an old bucket lying around, clean it up and fill it with some logs, pine cones, and evergreen leaves. You can even place a few candles and fairy lights for extra effect. Place these on your front porch to create a warm welcoming sight.

7.  Pellet Christmas Tree

pellet christmas treeImage Source: Pixabay

Take a spare wooden pellet if you have one. Cut the biggest triangle out of it for your Christmas tree. Paint it green and fix a big felt bow on the top. String some fairy lights around it and place it outside your house for simple outdoor Christmas decorations ideas.

8.  Wood Slice Snowman

wood slice snowmanImage Source: Pixabay

For this great family DIY winter decorating ideas, take four slices of logs of different diameters. Paint the surfaces white leaving out a narrow edge around the circumference. Fix these using nails one above the other to create a snowman. Paint some buttons and the face. Wrap a scarf and place a hat on your wood slice snowman.

9.  Birdcage Decoration

christmas birdcage Image Source: Pixabay

To make a DIY Christmas decoration, clean an old birdcage and spray paint it. When dry, fill it with some red and golden Christmas tree balls. Cover the top by tying some evergreen leaves and a bow.

10.  Train

christmas trainImage Source: Pixabay

You need 3-4 empty wooden crates for some nice outdoor Christmas decorations ideas. Paint them alternately in red and green and decorate them with some holly boughs. Make the wheels by cutting out wooden discs from logs and painting them. The train will look lovely on your front lawn.

11.  Hangings

christmas ornamentsImage Source: Pixabay

If you are left with some extra Christmas ornaments or a pair with a lost member, simply tie a ribbon at one end and hand them from the porch ceiling to make an interesting Christmas porch decoration.

12.  Sled

christmas sledImage Source: Flickr

You can take an old sled, clean it up and stand it on your front lawn. Kids will love this simple DIY winter decorating ideas. You can embellish it with a wreath or some lace.

13.  Hanging Stars

hanging starsImage Source: Pexels

Use coloured or glitter paper to make paper stars in different sizes. Tie them to one end of a string and hang them from the porch ceiling.

14.  Paper Garlands

paper garlandsImage Source: Pixabay

Paper garlands are fun outdoor Christmas decorations ideas that can be made to fill up any empty walls easily. Use strips of coloured paper to make chains. Embellish them with some lightweight ornaments and fairy lights. You hand these on walls, doorways and even around pillars.

15.  Christmas Cushions

christmas cushionsImage Source: Pexels

Instead of buying expensive Christmas cushions, simply cut off the sleeves of an old red or green T-shirt. Sew the bottom together and fill it with some stuffing. Now, sew together the open end and you have your own DIY Christmas cushions.

16.  Firewood Holder

christmas firewoodImage Source: Pexels

An excellent DIY winter decorating ideas to place outdoors, place an old wooden crate with its open mouth towards you and place firewood inside it. You can paint it any colour you like and decorate it with a lantern or candle holder.

17.  String Art

string artImage Source: Pexels

Make some funky outdoor Christmas decorations ideaswithstring art. Fix some nails on a blank fence or wooden wall to create a shape, such as a tree, Santa or reindeer. Wrap the string around the nails to create a unique art piece.

18.  Faux Christmas Presents

christmas presentsImage Source: Pixabay

This is an easy one. Take wooden blocks of different sizes and wrap then in Christmas-themed paper as if they were presents. Tie them up with gauze or jute ribbons and place them near your doorway.

19.  Bottle Decoration

bottle-decorationImage Source: Maxpixel

Use old bottles lying in your kitchen and paint them in a single colour. Wrap red or green ribbons around their neck and place some dried branches in them. You can leave them natural or paint them in some warm colours.

20.  Fairy Lights

fairy lightsImage Source: Pixabay

You can do a lot with fairy lights to perk up any dull part of your porch or front lawn. Simply drape them around your lawn furniture or shrubbery to create a warm feeling with some outdoor Christmas decorations ideas.

Creativity has no bounds, so feel free to adapt new ideas to these craft suggestions depending on your budget and the time available to you. Use the most of these ideas to spend some fun time with your family.

Featured Image Source: Flickr

Energy efficiency and eco-friendly housing is not only for those who want to save the environment – it can also have very positive impacts on your wallet. There are many ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Some of the changes can be a one-time investment, while others can become your everyday habit. What’s the most important is that you don’t have to break the bank to implement these solutions. Using cost-effective strategies, you can create a comfortable environment inside your humble abode that also facilitates in saving energy, money, and nature as well. So here are our tips on how to make your home an eco-friendly paradise.

Make your Home an Eco-Friendly Paradise

Use Water Cleverly

It’s no surprise that two-thirds of the earth’s population suffers from the lack of water supply. In these conditions, we can’t afford to waste any more water. The rational use of recourses within your house should include the following simple solutions. First of all, utilize such water-saving devices as low-flow shower heads and toilets. Of course you can cut back even more by spending less time in the shower, but no need for such extreme measures if you can simply fit a low-flow shower head that is capable of saving up to 10% of water used. Another recourses (and money) saving habit is using your dishwasher or washing machine only when they are fully loaded. This allows you to save almost 25 gallons of water with every washing cycle. If you do dishes yourself we recommend filling the sink for washing and then rinsing the dishes with a tab instead of letting the faucet run the entire time.

Water Can Be Free

Does this sound too good to be true? We’re happy to tell you this can be reality. How much will it cost to install a barrel for collecting rainwater at your backyard or on the roof of your garage? It’s not too expensive, actually. And how much is it to fill it with the rainwater? It’s absolutely for free! You can use this for watering your garden, lawn, or a little vegetable plot outside. Your houseplants will love it as well! You can also save the precious tap water by utilizing rainwater for washing your car or for house cleaning purposes. This can be especially critical for saving water in arid regions of the country, like Austin Texas, Phoenix Arizona, and Southern California.

Insulation

Many people believe that house insulation is not that important due to the warm climate. However insulation not only saves us from the cold, but it also prevents our homes from overheating. An insulated home is like a thermos – it keeps the comfortable temperature inside and does not allow the hot air to penetrate through the walls and roof. This can mean turning your air conditioner on less often. It’s been proven that well insulated buildings can save you around $200-300 on electricity bills every year.

Energy Saving Solutions for Windows

Like most homeowners, you’re probably unaware of how much energy you’re losing through your home’s windows. Single-pane windows can seem more attractive and they have a lower price, but they are not cheaper in the long run. The fact is that they let the warm air leave the room almost unchecked. ZH Custom Homes states that, “Double or even triple-pane windows filled with argon gas prevent the climate controlled air from escaping the house. Argon gas acts as an extremely effective insulator. So if you’re looking for more eco-friendly solutions in your new home, this should be at the top of your list.”

Keep the Sun Outside

If you live somewhere with a hot climate, the issue is how to keep your home cooler without spending too much on electricity and cooling. Do you want to know how you can save your house from the burning hot sun? First of all, tint the window glass. You may think that the tinted windows on the facade of your house will not look very attractive, but you can always do this with windows overlooking the yard. It’s amazing how much unwanted heat and cold you can keep outside having tinted windows. The next step is to replace your blinds with heavier curtains. This can be a favorable solution for bedrooms, especially with south-oriented windows. Heavier fabric will softly disperse the light and in addition it acts as a barrier for the hot air.

Let the Nature Take Care of Your Comfort

Have you ever noticed that the temperature within a city is usually higher than that in the country? Part of the reason for this is our cities lack the trees necessary to create shade and keep in air cool. If you’re a city dweller, keep your home cool with lots of indoor plants. They’ll keep your home cool and are known to add a tranquil ambience to any space.

Of course it is not a complete list of tips that can help to create an eco-friendly environment within your house, but we are confident that these simple solutions will make your dwelling more comfortable and your money safe.