Better insulation and a new furnace are expensive upgrades that do, in time, pay for themselves. But if you want a simple way to make your home feel warmer with less cost, increase the humidity.
Over at Real Simple they have a roundup of tips to help you lower your heating bill. Many are tips you might not be able to take advantage of (you can’t add insulation to an apartment, after all) or might not fly with your family or housemates (like turning the thermostat way back).
One practical tip that just about anybody can adopt almost immediately and with relatively little expense is to increase the humidity in your home. This makes the ambient temperature feel more pleasant and warm. Real Simple interviewed several heating and cooling experts who advised them to increase the humidity:
A humidifier might help keep you warm without raising your heating bill quite so dramatically. “We try to get the humidity out of our house in the summer time because water holds heat,” Starkey says. “In the winter, we want to do the opposite: Put humidity in the air.” Corbalis adds that moist air feels warmer than dry air, so run a humidifier when the heat is on. This will also reduce pesky static electricity along with your heating bill.
An ideal solution is to have a whole-house humidifier that automatically adds in moisture as needed. If that’s not part of your current HVAC setup, you can always supplement with a portable humidifier and do little things to increase the humidity in your home. Taking a hot shower with the bathroom door open releases a lot of warm humid air into your home. Hanging clothing to dry in winter conditions is a great way to take advantage of the dry air (which helps the clothes dry faster) and inject humidity into the air.