Seal Rooms You Don’t Use
Many homes have rooms that people don’t go into very often (like the guest room). As such, you could be heating these rooms unnecessarily. Not to mention, the bigger the space you try and heat, the more energy you use in the process.
Shut the door to the room, and stuff a towel underneath to block air from escaping. Make sure to close the vent as well. This will help the heat to bypass unused rooms, and go to where it really matters.
Pro Tip: Speaking of closed vents, go out to the rooms you do use and make sure none of the vents are closed on accident. Also check for any furniture or window drapes that are covering the vents. Moving these can help make the home feel a whole lot warmer.
Cozy Up To The Fire
Sure, using a fireplace is obvious. But here’s a few extra tips…
Check to make sure your stack of firewood is big enough to survive the winter. If not (or if things get really bad) you may need to start burning firewood alternatives – like the cheap wood items around your home that you can do without.
Just don’t burn anything that’s plastic or made of synthetic material (like foam). These release toxic fumes when you burn them.
If you aren’t going to use the fireplace, seal it up. This will help stop warm air in your home from getting out. You can use the damper if you have one – otherwise you can completely block the entrance.
Plug The Doors
You can also use the towel method (listed in option 1) to seal up doors that have gaps between the bottom of the door and the floor. If you don’t plug these up, these gaps will allow hot air to leave your home.
Get Creative With Insulation
You may be surprised to know that the most common source of heat loss is out the window. Even if all windows are shut, they often can’t stop heat from escaping entirely.
To help remedy this, you can go the cheap route and add some DIY insulation. This often comes in the form of double-sided tape and plastic sheeting. This method is inexpensive and surprisingly effective.
Another common source of heat loss is through the floor. This is especially true if you have tile, wood, or laminate flooring. Carpeting, on the other hand, is more effective since it’s better at retaining heat.
To retain as much heat as possible, you can cover up your flooring using rugs, blankets, and towels. It may look weird, but it’ll likely be warmer and more comfortable for your bare feet to walk on.
Keep Your Hands Warm
Many times when we turn up the thermostat it’s actually just because our fingers or toes are cold.
This is quite common, since the body naturally moves blood flow away from these areas when it’s cold, and moves the blood toward vital organs (like your heart) instead.
Rather than wasting energy turning up the thermostat, use hand/feet warmers instead. Slip them in your pockets and in your shoes to help your fingers and toes get toasty. The electric ones are often best since they last longer and don’t need to be replaced nearly as often.
Build Your Character
Did you ever hear someone saying toughening up “builds character?” Well, it’s actually true – especially when it comes to staying warm in a cold house. Rather than wasting energy, put on a few extra layers. Long underwear, wool sweaters, gloves with removable finger flaps, warm blankets, and hats are especially effective.
Don’t be afraid to wear your hat to bed, either. Your head is typically the only thing exposed when you’re asleep, and heat can still escape through it. By wearing a hat, you’ll stay cozy warm – and this will allow you to turn the heat down even more and save energy.
Open The Blinds
Use the heat from the sun to your advantage by opening the blinds during the day. This will help heat your home – even in the winter.
Sip A Hot Beverage
Hot drinks like cocoa, tea, coffee, and more aren’t just tasty. They also raise your body temperature (and warm your soul).
However, as much as you may be tempted, avoid the alcohol while you’re cold. Alcohol causes blood to rise to the surface of your skin, thereby lowering your body temp. (and making you colder).
Bring On The Cold Water
This one sounds very weird, but is actually true…
Before you leave the shower, blast yourself with cold water. The cold water will increase your circulation, and improve blood flow.
You can always end the shower with hot water to make sure you’re not freezing when you get out. But having that cold water run down your body for a few minutes will certainly help warm you up in the long-run.
Make A Portable Heater
Got a fireplace or a fire pit? You can use the rocks that have been in the fire to heat your hands.
First, light your fire and add rocks (use smooth round ones versus ones with jagged edges). Wait a few minutes so the rocks get hot. Once they’re nice and toasty, take them out using tongs and put them on a baking sheet.
Gather ’round the baking sheet and warm your hands using the heat coming off the rocks. Repeat the process once the rocks become cold.
Pro Tip: Do NOT use rocks that have been submerged in water for extended periods of time (like in lakes, rivers, etc.). These rocks trap moisture inside of them, and may explode when they go into the fire.
Rotate The Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans push air in one direction. But some people don’t know that there’s a way to reverse the fan’s direction.
This is a big deal considering that forcing the fan to spin the opposite way will push the rising hot air back down toward the floor, thus allowing you to keep your house warm.
Check out the video below to learn how to make this work for your home.
These cheap and effective tips will really come in handy when you need to keep your house warm in the winter. Let us know which ideas we missed in the comments!