With the winter cold now in full swing across the country, we have all began the winter tradition of bumping our thermostat (just 1 degree!) to stave off the bitter cold of the outdoors. As we relax into the depths of winter, you may choose a nice, cozy comforter or a revitalizing hot cocoa as a soothing contrast to brisk air just outside your home. As homeowners, we are always looking for how to keep warm, and how to keep the chill of winter outside where it belongs. We all could use a break from that dry, winter heat that keeps pumping out from the furnaces at this time of the year. In this article, we explore the 5 best ways to keep your home nice and toasty throughout the winter months without breaking the bank.
1. Buy Heavy Curtains, and Keep them Closed at Night
When it comes to staying warm in winter, one of the greatest areas of heat loss in your home is through the windows. While there is nothing quite as enchanting as watching a fresh snowfall slowly cover the landscape in a serene blanket of white powder, it’s important to cover your windows with a thick, insulating layer as soon as are you are able to break the trance. In fact, if you want to know how to warm up a room without a heater, open curtains for sun during the day and closed curtains at night is the trick! A personal favorite of mine is floor length, velvet blackout curtains as shown below. They go a long way in making sure that the cold stays out and the warm stays in, while having the added benefits of adding a nice, intimate aesthetic to the space and letting you enjoy more restful sleep when installed in the bedroom.
2. Use Rugs and Mats in Larger Areas
One of the greatest trends at home plan retailers is the rise of modern farmhouse floor plans. One of the best parts of this architectural style is the large, expansive spaces it promotes, particularly in the kitchen and main living area. With so much open space, it’s easy to lose heat through one of the most commonly overlooked areas of the home, the floor! It seems obvious once you say it, but a little known trick when it comes to how to stay warm in cold weather is to add large, decorative rugs to your open areas. It will surprise you when you see just how much less you find yourself walking over to the thermostat once you have a nice area rug to add another layer of comfort to your larger spaces.
As for specifics, stick to thick, heavy area rugs and mats that serve both the purpose of keeping your home warm and making a nice barefoot walk across the house a much more enjoyable.
3. Find the Draft!
Much of the time, your warm air is escaping through small cracks or spaces that go largely unnoticed during the summer months, but play a huge role in your heating bill come winter. If you have done everything you can think of and still find yourself wondering how to keep warm, unseen drafts are likely the culprit. A common method of finding drafts is to light an incense stick and hold it near walls and floors you believe may be a culprit. Horizontal smoke flow when held near windows, doors, or walls will immediately show you where your heat is running off to, and allow you to quickly fix any problem areas with ease.
If you’d rather not use incense to find problem areas, drafts around doors and walls can also be found with a flashlight. If light can make it through the space between a door and its frame, cold, outdoor air can as well.
4. Make Sure Your Vents are Clear (Air Filters too!)
It may seem obvious, but many homeowners have at least one or two vents that are either blocked by furniture or set to the off position. Take a moment to go through your home and make sure that all your vents are have at least 2 feet of space to properly spread heat. You also will want to make sure your air filter is clean, and get it replaced if it isn’t. The difference in heat output between a system with a dirty filter and one with a clean filter is night and day.
5. Use Ceiling Fans (on Low)
There is a bit of debate about this one, but especially in homes with high ceilings it is important to make sure that all that warm air from your heating system is settling near the ceiling. Keeping your ceiling fans on low is the perfect method for making sure you get to enjoy the warmth without cooling down your home with rapidly circulating air. When you are looking at how to stay warm without heat for longer, getting every ounce of warmth out of each run of your heating system is the best strategy.
We’d love to hear some of your favorite tips for saving on heating costs during these cold months. Or, if you have other ideas for keeping your home comfortable, please share your insight on creating a warm, yet comfortable environment within your home without breaking the bank!