Winter is upon us, which for many means a constant battle to stay warm both in and outside of the house. While you could crank up the heater or wear layer upon layer, there are other ways to beat the cold without skyrocketing your utilities bill or swimming in a sea of scarves and sweaters. Follow these tips and you’ll be warm all winter long.
Insulate Key Areas of Your House
Insulation helps keep heat from escaping our homes and when key areas aren’t sufficiently insulated, it can let that precious warmth more easily escape. Insulate areas like unfinished attic spaces, exterior walls, and floors above cold spaces, such as unheated garages or basements. The Department of Energy recommends insulating your house appropriately from roof to foundation and lists more key areas here.
Cover Your Windows and Floors
Keep warm air in and cold air out by hanging climate control or thermal curtains and covering any tile or hardwood floors with an area rug. Thermal, or insulated, curtains can help control room temperature by preventing heat loss through your windows during the winter and prevent heat from coming in during the summer, making them a great investment for all year round. Further warm your home by covering cold floors with a large area rug.
Add Some Warmth with a Space Heater
Space heaters are an easy way to add some warmth where you need it. Take the chill out of your room before going to bed by turning on a space heater for a few minutes. Be sure to close any doors to keep the warm air in and don’t leave your space heater unattended or running while sleeping to reduce the risk of fire.
Block Drafts Around Doors and Windows
Cracks beneath doors and windows can let cold drafts in and increase your heating bill. Prevent cold breezes from squeezing beneath your door with a pool noodle and a pillow case. Simply cut a pool noodle in half and place both pieces in a pillow case and place beneath your door, keeping one half of the pool noodle on each side of the door. Add weather stripping to windows to stop any air leaks that may be letting cold air in.
Wear a Thin Base Layer
Layering your clothes is a great way to keep warm but adding sweater upon sweater can be a bit bulky and uncomfortable. Instead, get warm without adding bulk by wearing thin thermal underwear, or fleece lined tights, and an undershirt beneath your clothes. Don’t forget to keep your feet warm. Try wearing a pair of liner socks beneath a nice pair of wool socks to make sure your feet stay extra toasty.
Make Homemade Hand Warmers
Keep your hands warm with homemade hand warmers. All you need is some cotton or wool fabric, a needle, thread, and some rice. Simply sew two pieces of fabric together (you can cut the fabric in any shape to fit in your palm) and fill with rice. When finished, heat the hand warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds and place in your mittens or pockets before heading out.
Wear a Fleece Lined Hat
Wearing a hat in cold weather is essential for staying warm. Get the most warmth from your hat by looking for something fleece lined. The extra layer will provide more warmth and help keep cold air out. For even more warmth, wear a hat that covers your ears.
Warm Yourself from the Inside Out with Hot Food
Eat warm foods, like stews and soups, on cold days to help heat your body from the inside. Hot drinks, like coco, tea, and lattes, are wonderful way to feel warm and cozy while also heating up your hands. Just skip the alcohol as it can lower your core body temperature.
You don’t have to spend the winter months shivering in the cold. Use these tips to keep yourself warm and cozy this winter and spring will be here before you know it!
– By Lana Evans, Editor @Lana_Evans2