Batten down the hatches, winter has arrived!
We enjoyed Christmas. The food, the family and the unseasonably warm weather. Quite honestly we were doing just fine without the ice, the frigid temperatures and the snow. Unfortunately mother nature woke up and remembered its December in Iowa and gave us a healthy dose of what that means. 
Ice, wind, freezing cold and snow all in one day! Now how are we supposed to stay warm without going broke? This is where I'd like to suggest we just curl up in a blanket in our sweatpants and fuzzy socks. Sounds warm right? Realistically we cannot do this for days on end. Here are some tips to help keep you toasty and hopefully save you money.

Have you installed a programmable thermostat and know how to set it? Speaking of the furnace, when was the last time you had it inspected? Be sure to stock up on furnace filters and change them often

When the wind is howling is your house talking? Wind can make a kind of spooky sound coming in through small cracks. Be sure to check the windowpanes and sills for small leaks. Are the outlets properly sealed? What about the fireplace/chimney. Do you have ceiling fans? Turning them on in a clockwise direction will circulate the hot air. 

Are your windows dressed for winter? Drapes can help keep the heat in. Placing rugs on "bare" floors also helps.

Another tip I especially like is to bake. You're up, there's always someone is need of a baked good and what better way to warm both you and the house. The other plus to this is the house will smell heavenly. Then when you're done leave the oven door open to "recycle" the heat. 

Please be safe these winter months. I would also like to suggest a carbon monoxide alarm as well as your smoke alarms. 

With the house air tight, the furnace in good working order and baked goods on the counter I think it's time for that blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a cozy spot on the couch. Thankfully we do have four seasons here in Iowa and this to shall pass.