It's not always easy to stay warm on a budget, especially when your house is working against you. If you want to beat the cold this winter without breaking the bank, it helps to do a few little, inexpensive tasks that can shore up your house's defenses from the outside chill.

Grab Your Caulk Gun

Small gaps and cracks between window seals and door frames can allow cold air to infiltrate your home and drive up your heating bill. For under $20 at the hardware store, you can buy everything you need to seal up these leaks permanently. Make sure to also check everywhere pipes enter and leave your home, such as under your kitchen sink or behind the toilet. Cracks are common in these places, and sealing them up can boost your savings.

Roll Out The Rugs

If your floor feels cold, it might be time to invest in a good rug. Temporary rugs, especially the wall-to-wall variety, can increase a room's heat retention and prevent warmth from seeping out of your home through the floor by acting as added insulation.

While putting a rug on wood, linoleum, or concrete floors may not actually save you much money, it can be a huge difference in terms of comfort. If you like to walk around your home barefoot, these floor materials can cold enough to make you want to stay in bed. Place rugs wherever you need to walk on these surfaces -- or just make a path out of them that leads directly to your slippers!

Work That Thermostat

While turning off your thermostat when you leave is often touted as a great way to save on costs and energy, it could actually cost you roughly the same as leaving it on all day. This is due to the added fuel that must be burned to heat the house quickly when you get home and crank it back up to 68 degrees. If you want to maximize your savings, set it to 55 degrees while you're gone. That way, it only has to burn slightly more fuel to heat your house to an optimal temperature, and you can still save up to 15% on your energy bill. 

As an added bonus, leaving your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees is beneficial for sensitive indoor pets like birds, hamsters, and reptiles. With the thermostat off entirely, these animals can sometimes get sick if they get too cold while you're away.

Don't shiver in your own home this winter. Contact Arendosh Heating & Cooling for more heating ideas. If you act now you can better insulate your home and regulate your energy use without spending a fortune. After all, winter should be about hot cocoa and Christmas carols, not worrying over the heating bill!