Baby, it's cold outside, and nearly every section of the country is feeling the chill. Last night I was reading in bed and realized my hands felt frozen because, besides my head, they were the only part of me outside of the comforter. I'm reluctant to bump up the heat because it seems like a waste of energy and I definitely sleep better when the bedroom is cool.
There are ways we can improve the energy efficiency of our homes and save money in the long run without sacrificing our hands (and feet) to cold nights. One simple way is to seal doors and windows with weatherstripping. You can also cover drafty windows with heavy draperies that fit close to the window. Maintain your furnace or heating system to make sure it is running properly and efficiently. If you heat your home with a fireplace, make sure the flue closes tightly and keep it closed when the fireplace is not in use.
Improving the insulation can make a significant difference if you are up for a bigger home improvement project. The Department of Energy has this list of insulation materials and suggestions on where they work best. If you are interested in "green" insulation materials, there are several choices, from recycled paper to denim. The Department of Energy also has information on these materials. You can do a key word search when you are on the site.
Now I know how my family can do more to keep our house cozy this winter while saving energy. My husband will be glad when I stop trying to bury my cold hands under his shoulder to help warm them up!