Our home is almost 70 years old, and while it has new siding, roof and additions, the last owners never thought to re-insulate the home (or use better insulation for the additions) when they did their renovations a decade ago. So our cooling and heating costs can get a bit out of control, except that we follow a few frugal tips for keeping warm:
- Dress in layers: This is an obvious one, but many people feel “I deserve to be able to walk around naked and be warm in my own home”. Well here’s news for you: You have to spend money on heating or renovations to be able to do that. For the rest of us, specifically those who want to save some moolah, we can just wear extra clothes, such as sweaters, sweatpants and even knit caps (hey, who’s going to see you wearing outdoor clothes inside your home?).
- Wear socks: I bet you’ll agree with me that when your feet are cold, your whole body feels cold. Stick your feet in a bucket of hot water and you instantly feel warm. Well to keep those tootsies warm, and thus the rest of you warm, cover them up with socks, shoes or big bunny slippers.
- Use curtains: If you’re not able or willing to insulate around your windows better, or buy better windows, then you can at least block the cold air sneaking through with heavy curtains. They also work in the summer to keep the cold air in the house and block the hot sun.
- Keep the blinds/curtains open during the day: When it’s sunny, it’s warm. Let that sun into your house when it’s up in the sky.
- Close the blinds/curtains at night: Conversely, when it’s night, it’s cold. Close the blinds and curtains to keep the cold air out and warm air in.
- Use flannel/down bedding: Simply switching from the light summery cotton to flannel, and especially down (or faux down) will keep you warm under the covers at night.
- Drink warm fluids: While you’re using energy, and thus money, to heat the water to make coffee, tea or cocoa, it will warm you up for a good hour. That 5 minutes to boil water vs 60 minutes of running the furnace makes a difference on your wallet.
- Use a heating pad: While you’re lounging on the couch or recliner watching TV or blogging, you can use a small heating pad, set to medium, on your back to make your whole body feel warm. It’s using less energy to avoid using more energy.
- Keep busy/Exercise: When you’re busy cleaning the house, doing laundry or running on the treadmill, you don’t notice the cold. When you’re exercising, you’re creating energy inside your body and therefore you don’t just feel warmer, you are warmer!
What do you do to keep warm at home in the winter?