Home Improvements to Stay Warm All Winter
On a website with tips for homeowners, you expect to see these home improvements listed, so here they are. For fun I left ideas in random order based on the order I found them in about 10 other articles. For example, the space heater idea isn't my top choice but was in the article, 9 Tips To Keep Yourself and Your Apartment Warm and Comfortable During Winter Season, that prompted me to pull this list together.
Hope you enjoy this roundup and find at least one idea you can use to stay warm this winter. If you've got other topics you'd like me to cover, please let me know what they are in the comments below.
- Use a small space heater – to keep a small space/room warm and comfy, while keeping your energy bill low. Place them at least three feet from anything flammable (clothing, rugs, bedding, curtains, etc). Close doors to keep heat where you want it and make sure to turn space heaters off when it's not being used.
- Find and seal gaps in exterior walls – where cold air is getting into your home. Places to check are doors, windows, wall switches and outlets (check out insulation pads shown at right). Here are tips on how to buy the right weatherstripping for doors and windows.
- Seal window air conditioners – with insulated blankets to reduce cold air getting in from outside.
- Insulate your attic access door – which typically has gaps and lets warm air escape into your attic.
- Use draft stoppers (shown above) – to stop cold drafts from coming in under doors or windows. Someone also suggested you can use pool noodles the same way, offering a much cheaper solution (would love feedback on this).
- Use a programmable thermostat – or one that you can control from your smart phone (learn about the Nest Learning Thermostat), to warm things up before you get home from work.
- Add insulation – where walls, floors or ceilings have unheated space on the other side. Any of these will help your house stay warm during cold weather, and remain cooler during the summer.
- Place foam insulation boards behind radiators – to slow the loss of heat. Use aluminum faced boards to reflect heat back into the room, the way wrapping a baked potato in aluminum foil holds heat.
- Use rugs or carpeting on cold floors – so you don't get cold walking around your house and especially, cold tile floors in the bathroom. Slippers are a more cost effective solution.
Ways to Stay Warm During the Winter Months
There are lots of things you can do to stay warm at home, that don't involve changes to your house. Here are the ones we discovered in our online search.
- Put on another layer of clothing – which will keep you warm by slowing the loss of heat your body radiates.
- Use throw blankets – to stay warm and comfortable when relaxing on a chair or couch. Keep blankets within easy reach so you can grab one whenever you get chilly watching a movie, reading a book or sitting and chatting with friends.
- Use warmer bedding – during the winter season. This might be flannel sheets, an electric blanket/throw or my favorite is fleece pajamas as I'm always colder than my husband. Fluffy blankets with more insulating value, should be closer to you to trap more of your body's heat.
- Drink something warm – like hot chocolate, hot apple cider or grab a cup of your favorite coffee or tea.
- Take a warm bath – with plenty of bubbles, music and light some candles. This will not only warm you up, it will also help you relax after a stressful day.
- Turn on ceiling fans (clockwise direction) – to push warm air down to where you will feel it.
- Use insulated curtains – during the winter, and even the summer to reduce air conditioning costs. Remember to open up your curtains during the day as sunlight brings in heat. Clost curtains at night to keep the warm air in.
- Rearrange bedroom furniture – to move beds away from exterior walls which are colder.
- Use fireplaces for some extra heat – but make sure you take safety precautions. Use a screen on wood fireplaces to catch sparks and be sure the fire is out before going to bed.
- Skip the booze – because warm beverages will raise your core temperature but alchohol is the worst thing to drink as it drops the body's core temperature.
- Get cozy with someone special – is sure to warm you both up, and remember that the most efficient way to share body heat is through skin-to-skin contact.
- Start exercising at home – to raise your heart rate, get your blood pumping and it will raise your core temperature. You can stand/walk in place when you're working at home. Rethink doing laundry and cleaning as ways to get exercise, and get warm.
- Upgrade windows to double or triple pane – to reduce the heat lost through window glass.
- Upgrade exterior doors to insulated ones – to reduce energy bills and keep your warm air inside.
- Hang blankets to close off the open stairways – that go to the second floor, to slow the loss of heated air up the stairs as warm air rises.
Tips for Feeling Warm Even When It's Cool
Sometimes you've got to think outside the box. If you want to stay warm this winter, here are a few more tips and tricks to help you feel warm even if the temperature in your home doesn't change. After all, there must be a reason we love sitting down to a great cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate!
- Use warm colors – to create the illusion that it's warmer than it really is. You can do this with accessories in your living areas. In bedrooms, use red and orange colors for pillows, blankets and area rugs.
- Turn on the oven (skip the microwave) – to make something hot like soup or a chili, one of my favorite winter meals. Not only will the food warm you up, moving around the kitchen will also make you warm on cool winter days.
- Wash dishes the old fashion way, by hand – to get your blood moving, and warm you up. This is part of my morning routine, to wash the dishes while cooking my oatmeal.
- Keep a pot of water boiling on the stove – to increase the humidity in the room, which will make it feel warmer. Add liquid potpourri for a lovely smell in the air.