Easy Ways to Keep Warm This Winter (Without Turning Up the Heat)
Winter is officially here, and for a large part of the country, that means your heating bills are about to skyrocket.
Whether you have a top-of-the-line brand new furnace or you’re still cutting down your own firewood and heating your home via fireplace, it costs a bit of money (and effort) to keep your home warm in the winter. But there are some smart ways you can cut down on the cost of heating and still stay totally comfortable and icicle free. Ahead, check out some ways to stay warm in your house without jacking the thermostat up to 80 degrees.
1. Turn your ceiling fans to winter mode
Did you know that your ceiling fan probably has two settings?
During the summer, your fan should turn counter-clockwise to force air down and provide a cooling effect. In the winter, switch the fan to a low setting and reverse the direction to clockwise to achieve the opposite result. Winter mode draws the air upward, forcing warm air down and out to keep you warmer.
Your fan should have a little switch near the ceiling mount which allows you to change the direction with the seasons.
Next: This is important if you have a fireplace.
2. Keep the fireplace flue closed
If you have a working fireplace in your home, you may be letting heat escape right out the chimney.
Keep your flue closed whenever you’re not using your fireplace to reduce this problem. Just be sure to open the flue before you light a fire to avoid filling up your house with smoke.
Next: This small device makes the air feel warmer.
3. Use a humidifier
Humid air feels warmer than dry air, and the air tends to dry out in the winter. Pick up a few inexpensive humidifiers to make your house feel warmer and reduce the likelihood of nosebleeds, cracked skin, and other issues that can happen when the air gets too dry.
Next: Change your sheets.
4. Break out the winter bedding
Get your bed ready for those long winter months by purchasing flannel sheets and adding an extra thick comforter on top. Fabrics like flannel trap your body heat better, so you can stay warm while you’re sleeping and still keep the thermostat set at a low temperature.
Electric blankets are another popular option for staying warm at night.
Next: Keep heat from escaping out the window.
5. Invest in heavier curtains
A lot of heat is lost through your windows.
To keep heat from escaping in the evening, keep your curtains shut. Thick curtains work fine, but thermal lined curtains are even better at trapping the heat inside. During the day, be sure to open the drapes so the sun can provide plenty of free, natural warmth for the house.
Next: A towel is all you need for this next trick.
6. Block drafty doors
Protect your home from icy cold winds by blocking drafts in doorways. You can buy a fancy, specially designed draft stopper, or you could just roll up a towel to achieve the same effect.
Next: Clear away blockages.
7. Clear your registers
Placing furniture on top of your registers keeps them from forcing hot air through your home. Move couches, shelves, and beds away from the vents and radiators so that no amount of heat gets wasted.
Next: This effective trick costs zero dollars.
8. Shut the doors to unused rooms
If you never use the guest bedroom, keep the door closed during the winter so the warm air will circulate in a smaller area.
Next: Don’t flick this switch when you shower.
9. Stop running the bathroom fan
Humid air feels warm, so instead of sucking it out with a bathroom fan, allow the room to get steamy during your shower or bath. If privacy isn’t an issue, leave the bathroom door open and allow the air to flow through the house.
Next: 10% of heat is lost here — but you can stop it.
10. Lay down a rug
The floor accounts for up to 10% heat loss in your home. Keep warm air trapped by laying thick rugs over wood floors or even layering rugs on rugs. This is especially effective in homes without insulated floors, such as those built on a slab with no basement.
Next: Finally, here’s motivation to start working out.
11. Do something active
It may seem like common sense, but the easiest way to keep your body warm is to keep it moving.
Resist the urge to sit around on the couch and get up and moving to keep yourself warm during winter. House cleaning, exercising, active video games — all of these activities help to keep your metabolism going and make you feel warm. Better yet, go outside for a while and spend time shoveling or playing in the snow. The inside will feel much warmer in comparison.
Next: Is your house missing this vital component?
12. Add some insulation
If you live in an older home, you may be missing insulation in your exterior walls, which can lead to enormous amounts of heat loss. It’s worth researching having insulation added now, which could pay off over time in the form of reduced heating bills.
Next: This simple radiator trick costs next to nothing.
13. Use tin foil behind radiators
If you use radiator heat, place a piece of tin foil on the wall behind your radiators. This can help reflect the heat and costs next to nothing.
Next: Follow this rule while baking cookies.
14. Leave the oven door open after you bake
Winter is a wonderful time for baking cookies, breads, and comforting casseroles. One easy way to heat up your kitchen is to leave the oven door open after you finish your dish and let the heat fill the room.
Next: Buy a kit or plastic wrap for this tip.
15. Tape up the windows
Even if you have brand new replacement windows, a fair amount of heat is still going to escape. Combat heat loss by purchasing clear plastic coverings to tape over windows in the winter or, if you’re on a budget, there’s always regular kitchen plastic wrap.
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