Make most of ‘snow days’

The cold and snow can make you feel trapped inside your own home. The walls all start to look the same and the romanticized notions of a “snow day” turn into your own little lockdown. You could waste the hours away, snoozing and watching mindless TV.

Or you could make the most of the extra time at home and save yourself some money. Translate that chilly winter day into your own appliance makeover, keeping boredom at bay and cash in your pocket.

Rule your thermostat

During the winter months, we suffer continual temptation to increase the digits on the dial. If you live with other humans, odds are good you clash about where that temperature control should be set.

But the colder weather means you need to dominate your thermostat. Be incredibly intentional about dialing down the settings at night. Bundle up in those blankets and decrease the temp by 5 to 10 degrees. If you do get to leave home, drop the heat then, too. If you have a programmable thermostat, odds are you’re probably not making the most of it.

Evade cabin fever by digging out the manual (or doing a quick Internet search to find the PDF of it), and learn how to automate those changes in environment. You’ll be saving money without even thinking about it.

Change or clean the furnace filter

Subzero wind chills causes your furnace to pull a double shift. Show this vital appliance some love by doing some regular maintenance while you’re trapped indoors. A typical suburban home furnace filter needs changed at least every 90 days.

If you own one pet, that number decreases to 60 days. And if you own more than puppy or kitty, you’ll need to change the filter every 45 days. Some furnace filters can be vacuumed out in between changing them. If it looks dirty, you need to give it some TLC.

Clean out the fridge (it’s not what you think)

Certainly you could spend some time cleaning out the inside of your refrigerator on a cold day. However, if you want to make the most of your time, crack out the hose attachment on your vacuum to remove the extra dirt and dust from the coils on the back of your refrigerator and the bottom vents.

A simple 15-minute chore just might both help your fridge run more efficiently, reducing energy costs and extend its life. Keep that fridge full of healthy foods, too. The fuller your refrigerator is, the less it costs to power it. Plus, you’ll have plenty to eat when the winter weather keeps you from making it to the store.

Transform the hours that might seem useless into useful, money saving exercises. Spend a few minutes making the most of found time and you just might end up with some much needed found cash, too. The winter winds might prevent home improvement projects outside; however, they provide the perfect opportunity to show your appliances some much needed love.