It is the time of year when the days are shorter and darkness falls before 6 p.m.. After a long day at work, nothing sounds better than relaxing at home with your feet up, wearing your cozy PJs. Don’t let the cold and darkness outside turn your sanctuary into a cold cave. With a little bit of effort and ingenuity, you can make your home feel cozier in an afternoon, without spending much money.
You don’t have to succumb to the winter blahs. Just implement a few of these ideas, and you’ll be warm and comfy inside until winter’s worst blows over.
1. Clean Your Light Fixtures and Bulbs
Your home will appear 30% brighter — without turning on more lights.
2. Keep the Cold Air Out
It’s not just window and door leaks killing your cozy vibe. Don’t forget to plug stealthy gaps around recessed lights, electrical boxes, and wall outlets. Use a lit incense stick or scented candle to hunt down drafty spots while leaving behind a cozy scent.
3. Dig Out Your Slow Cooker
Nothing says warm and cozy like opening the door to an enticing aroma that makes your mouth water. Even better, slow cookers are more energy efficient than electric ovens, typically using less energy than a light bulb.
4. Bring Home Some Nature
Many indoor plants, like golden pothos and gerbera daisies, are particularly adept at sucking up nasty VOCs — the vapors emitted from household cleaners, paints, and dry cleaning. And since plants increase humidity levels, they help decrease household dust.
5. Vacuum With Your Thermostat Fan On
Run the fan to help filter dust that gets kicked up while cleaning. Leave it on for about 15 minutes after you finish vacuuming, and switch it back to “auto” afterward. HVAC blowers aren’t intended to run all the time.
6. Change the Furnace / AC Filter
Change your filter every couple months (monthly if you have pets) to prevent excess dust and allergens from circulating. All that bad air just gets you down.
7. Let the Sunlight In
(It’ll Make You Happy)
Clean your windows. Sparkling glass not only lets more natural light into your home, it’s a feel-good task, according to a survey by the American Clean Institute. When ACI asked consumers what clean surfaces make them happy, “gleaming windows” made the top five above a “spotless sink.” Besides all that, daylighting is a great mood booster.
Nothing makes you feel more relaxed and cozy than sitting in front of the fireplace. Don’t have a fireplace? No problem! Electric fireplaces have come a long way in simulating real flames. Many models also have built-in heaters.