15 Savvy Hacks on How to Stay Warm Without Turning Up The Heating

Winter is here, and the quest of how to stay warm without heat is more relevant than ever.

Today, I want to share 15 pieces of advice on how to stay warm in cold weather and keep those heating bills to a minimum. Let’s get started!


1. Sealing up the gaps

The first thing you want to take care of in your home is insulation. There might be spots where you can feel air actually blowing into your house – those need to be sealed up.

You can use weather stripping and draft stoppers, as well as a number of DIY options, such as caulking up gaps and cracks or filling old socks with rice or beans and putting them at the bottom of your external doors, attached with a strip of Velcro.

To identify the gaps, slowly move a lighter or a candle around the edges of the window and check where the flame starts blowing, or dampen your finger, move it around the window and wait to feel that extra coolness.

2. Covering windows with plastic or bubble wrap

Сovering the windows in their entirety is an option as well. To get rid of the constant noise of the plastic rustling in the wind, get the shrink to fit plastic insulation kits.

You put the plastic up on the outer edges of the window with strips of tape that comes with the kit, and then use a blow dryer to shrink the plastic.

Once it is tight, it should not be moving, and therefore the noise will not bother you.

3. Internal wall insulation

Another issue that could be coming up for you is poor wall insulation. If you feel the inside of your external walls and they feel cold, you might have poor wall insulation. The only way to really know is to open it up and take a look.


4. Covering walls with blankets

If you have poor insulation but do not want to spend money on fixing it, try stapling flannel blankets or quilts to the walls to retain heat. Some other, more aesthetic options include wall carpets and even faux grass.

5. Furniture reposition

As an additional measure, consider moving your couches away from external walls. Leather is especially susceptible to cold, so if you have a leather couch, you may want to cover it with a throw blanket in the winter, or get cloth sofa covers.

6. Blinds and heavy curtains

Your home is probably also losing heat through the window panes themselves because the glass is thin. Therefore, an inexpensive way to retain heat is to hang blinds and thermal insulating curtains or blackout curtains.

To save even more money, hang a piece of flannel and use hem tape to create the casing for the rod. You can also hang heavy blankets over your entryway to reduce or prevent drafts.

7. Warm layered clothing

Now that your house is insulated, and you are still looking for options for how to stay warm, it is time to insulate yourself.

I know it is tempting to wear shorts and T-shirts at home, but if you want to keep your heating expenses down, try putting on another layer, like a nice cardigan, thick socks and slippers.

Knit sweaters, plush fuzzy robes and fleece lined sweatshirts and sweatpants also make excellent winter home attire.

8. Electric blanket

Electric blankets are another energy efficient way to keep warm. They also help with pains and relax your muscles, so just throw one on when you are watching a movie or just relaxing in the living room.

Sitting with a blanket on lap

9. Heating pads

If you do not have an electric blanket, try using a hot water bottle or a microwavable heat pack. The homemade version of that is soaking some hand towels or dish towels in steaming hot water, folding them up and putting them in a gallon sized Ziploc bag.

10. Programmable thermostat

Now that everything and everybody is well insulated, let’s focus on putting heat into the house. If you have a centralized heating system, and especially if you are away from home a lot every day, you should consider getting a programmable thermostat.

That way, you can decide when you need more heat and when you need less, and make sure you are not spending money on heat that you are not using. Reduce the heat for hours when you are at work or away.

Also, lower it a bit for the night, when you are in bed under your warm covers, and have it increase half an hour before you need to wake up, so that you do not have to get out of your cozy bed into a cold room.

11. Sunlight

Open up your blinds and curtains to allow bright sun to warm your house during the day for free. Then at night, close those curtains back up to help retain the warmth inside the house.

12. Space heaters

Another way to optimize your heating resources is placing space heaters strategically throughout the home. You can also move the heaters around as you move around the house. This will allow you to keep the thermostat low and save money on electricity.

Moreover, many space heaters offer a ¾ heat option, which means that the heater will turn itself off and on to maintain a specific temperature, as opposed to running (and therefore consuming electricity) continuously.

Reflective radiator panels

13. Reflective radiator panels

If your home has radiators, you can install reflective panels behind the radiators to direct the heat into the room, especially if the radiator is on an external wall, since heat naturally gravitates toward cold spaces and surfaces.

You can buy pre-made radiator reflective panels or make your own just by wrapping and smoothing heavy duty kitchen foil around a piece of plywood.

14. Humidifiers

A humidifier is not going to replace a whole space heater, but the additional steam and moisture does make a difference, especially in small or enclosed rooms.

Moreover, because the air is already so dry in the winter and it is the cold and flu season, using a humidifier is helpful for keeping the sinuses open and adds to your comfort overall.

15. Government assistance

If you are living on a low income and struggling to pay your heating bills, there are government programs that can assist you by covering a portion of your gas or electric bills. They pay directly to the utility company for you. Just go to USA.gov/benefits to learn more.

How do you stay warm in winter? What are your heating options of choice? Share in the comments!

Next, check out these 10 Unexpected Grocery Hacks to Keep You on Budget.

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