4 green home makeover tips to warm you up this winter

Winter isn't the friendliest time of year for homeowners, especially for those who find themselves shivering throughout the day. Plummeting temperatures, however, can do more than just cause you to search your closet for extra blankets and sweatshirts. It can do severe damage to your home, which, as you probably expect, can also put tremendous stress on your wallet. 

If you want to not only protect your home from the winter or stay more comfortable, you should think about renovating. In fact, the following tips not only describe ways to do so to prevent winter damage, but homeowners can also use these suggestions after the cold weather has overstayed its welcome. 

"Ensure furniture isn't blocking heating units and vents, which could cause some rooms to be colder than others."

1. Start with inexpensive changes
Walk into a room you regularly spend time in and look around. What do you see? If your curtains are thin and white and your furniture is haphazardly around the space, think about redecorating. Yes, your room will not only become more pleasing to the eyes, it could also keep you warmer.

Start with your furniture. Make sure its not blocking heating units and vents, which could cause some rooms to be colder than others. Then move to the curtains. Opt for thicker, darker curtains in the winter which can not only attract natural heat from the sun but also do a much better job of insulating your home than thinner material. 

Finally, turn your attention to your fans. Did you know that if you set your fan so it spins clockwise it'll push heat back down to the ground. In the summer, having it spin counterclockwise has the opposite effect.

Stay warm in your home this winter by becoming energy efficient. Stay warm in your home this winter by becoming energy efficient.

2. Don't neglect your heating systems
After you've completed some inexpensive cosmetic changes, turn your attention to your heating units. If you rarely maintained them throughout the year, you may find that they're working less than efficient now. This can cause them to work poorly and release less heat. Energy.gov recommends you hire a professional to take care of your heating system, and while he or she is at your home the expert can you replace your furnace's filter. While maintenance may cost you some money upfront, it'll keep you warm throughout the winter and could reduce your energy bills.

"It takes less time and energy to heat a small area than a large one."

3. Close doors
How often do you use the dining room to eat dinner? If you don't use it every night close its doors. It takes less time and energy to heat a small area than a large one, and by closing the room's doors you're decreasing the amount of space that you need to heat. Along with closing the doors, seal off any cracks or vents that may lead to those spaces. For example, doors always leave a small space between it and the floor. Plug this crack to prevent air leakage. 

4. Modernize your residence
Are you still using manual thermostats? It's the 21st century, which means you really should be using automated ones that gives you more freedom to adjust your room's temperature as you see fit. For example, when you're in your office, a programmable thermostat can automatically turn off the heat to save energy. You can then adjust these thermostats to turn on while you're on your way home. Not only does this save you energy, but you'll also walk into a cozy, warm house.

Don't shiver your way through the winter this year. While we typically suggest completing the above tips well before winter arrives, you can complete all four of these right now.