20 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter... Even When Your House is NOT

How to Keep Warm This Winter

It's cold outside... well, at least it is in most of the country. If you live in one of those places where the weather is 80 degrees all year you might want to skip this post.  Better yet, read it so you can survive when the weather drops to 65 degrees. 

We kid, warm weather dwellers. Believe me, all of us want to be you right now (and all year long). My own bitterness probably comes from having to avoid frost bite just going to get my mail everyday. Okay, that was a little dramatic. Seriously though, those of us who live in cold weather environments know the challenge of staying cozy without having to pay astronomical bills in the winter. Yes, there are a thousands ways you can renovate your home to help make your heating more efficient, but that doesn't help you right now. This post is about practical tips and small purchases that can help you stay warm today with out a renovation.   


1. Wrap up in a heated blanket

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

I am always cold so my family purchased me the above heated blanket for Christmas. I use it every day. Modern day heated blankets have shutoff timers and overheat limits so they are totally safe. I use my heated blanket to keep warm while I am snuggled up on the sofa or sitting at my desk. The heated blanket keeps you from knowing really your furnace is turned down.

$28 at Amazon

2. Shut doors in your house to create zone heating

Make sure you keep the doors shut to rooms you do not use during the day or night. This will help your heating source focus on the areas where you are spending time. This is called zone heating. Zoned heating is your friend in the winter because it maximizes the heat where you are.

Maybe while your doors are shut you can contemplate painting them a fun color like Nicole from Making it Lovely did in her hallway.

3. Shut vents in unused rooms

There is no need to heat your guest bedroom or unfinished basement if the rooms are not being used. This will force all the heat into the rooms that you do use.

If you really want to be proactive, shut the vents to your bedroom during the day and open it back up about an hour before you go to bed. At bedtime, shut your living and kitchen area vents.

For extra coverage, magnetic vent covers can work well to cover floor vents. Ceiling and wall vent covers tend to come off but do work better if the vent is closed.

4. Use an oil-filled space heater

Oil-filled heaters are the safer version of space heaters to use in your home. They do take a little while to heat up but they do warm up a space effectively, especially if you shut doors to maximize the space. Even though they are the "safer version," you still need to be careful. Make sure you spend a little extra money for one with a timer and an overheat shutoff for safety reasons. You do not want to leave them on overnight or while you are away from home. They can be warm to touch so like any space heater, it may not be good with little kids.

$68 at Amazon

These type of heaters are really great for helping your pipes not freeze under a sink. Open your sink cabinet doors and place it next to the cabinet periodically throughout the day when its below freezing.

How to Keep Warm This Winter


How to Keep Warm This Winter


5. Purchase a portable electric fireplace

An electric fireplace with high BTUs can really warm up a space. These are more expensive than space heaters, but most are safe to touch for the littles in your home. They are also very safe and efficient to run for long periods of time. I am getting impressed with the stylish options available these days.

$60 at Amazon

$180 at Amazon

If you have a non working fireplace you can tuck one of these into your fireplace like Megan Pflug did in her basement makeover.

How to Keep Warm This Winter


How to Keep Warm This Winter


6. Switch out window treatments for thermal curtains / add thermal curtain liners

Switch out curtains with thermal curtains or attach thermal curtain liners to your existing curtains. Windows can be the largest source of cold air entering into your home. Thermal curtains can help keep the cold air insulated.

$78 at Overstock

$25 at Ikea

7. Hang curtains over your front door

Hanging a curtain over your exterior doors can be stylish and help your house feel warmer in the winter.

8. Open curtains during the day and close them at night

During a sunny winter day, let the sun in to warm your home. When the sun is down, shut them to insulate the cold air.

9. Hang a curtain at the top of your stairwell

If you have a two story home use a thermal curtain and tension rod at the top of your stairs. Close the curtain the times of the day when you spend most of your time downstairs. Why? It is simple, hot air rises and the closed curtain can keep the hot air downstairs. 

The top of my stairwell is a doorway sized opening so I can use a shower curtain tension rod to hang a thermal curtain. The above stairway curtain "how to" is over at Dandelion Discoveries.

10. After using your oven, keep the door open while it cools down

Maximize the usage of your oven as long as you can. After you use your oven, keep the door open while the oven cools down. Of course, not the best thing to do if you have little kiddos hanging around.

11. Place rice heating pads under your sheets at the bottom of your bed

Warm up a heated rice bag in the microwave and place it under your sheets. This is a safe way to keep your toes warm at night.

Check out this DIY rice heating pad tutorial with essential oils over at Fellow Fellow.

How to Keep Warm This Winter


How to Keep Warm This Winter


12. Add insulated covers to your outlets and light sockets

Your outlets and light switches can be a source for cold air to get into your home. This is true especially if you live in an old home where the walls are not insulated. If you live in an old home with original plaster walls...this applies to you. This fix requires no rewiring or electrician skills.  You just need a screwdriver to take off the face plate.

$3 at Walmart

13. Cover your home with window sill and door draft stoppers

Use rice and fabric remnants to create a cute insulated window sill or door draft stopper

Check out these fun DIY tutorials for window sill and door draft stoppers from The Good Stuff

14. Lay down a rug or two

If you have hardwood floors, rugs can help with cold floors. Check your local carpet store for remnants if you are on a budget. If there is no room in the budget for a rug, lay a blanket on the floor while you are hanging out in your living room.

15. Wear a winter hat around the house

Heat exits your body from your head so keep yourself warm by keeping a cute winter hat on your head while you are home.

16. Wear warm slippers

Like your head, heat exits your body from your feet so keep them insulated.

17. Warm your towels with a towel warmer

Fight the cold in the bathroom by warming up your towels while you shower. They also work for bathrobes. 

$80 at Bed Bath and Beyond 

18. Rearrange furniture away from windows

Give your living room a fresh look by rearranging your furniture away from your windows. If the furniture in front of your window only fits one way, move your seating away from the window a least 6 inches and execute tips 6, 8, 13, and 20.

19. Unblock heater vents

Don't sacrifice your coziness for a piece of furniture over a vent. Rearrange your furniture to unblock the vent. Not possible? Purchase a vent attachment or extender.

How to Keep Warm This Winter

20. Install plastic window insulators

These plastic window insulators can help your windows feel like a more expensive window. If done well, the insulator really isn't super noticeable. They are easy to install and remove. All you need is scissors and a hair dryer. Most of the instructions tell you to install the plastic over your outer trim. I was able to install the plastic on the inside of the window trim behind my window treatments. These are a great solution for large windows with no window treatments.

$12 at Amazon


How to Keep Warm This Winter
Pin It: Keep Warm At Home This Winter


Sometimes just thinking warmer thoughts can get you feeling cozier. Cuddle up and get some inspiration for you outdoor spaces this summer and tell yourself you are almost there!

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Jennifer Farley on Feb 08, 2017:

@Paul First of all, thank you! Great idea about making the heated blanket mobile! Thanks for reading.

Paul on Feb 06, 2017:

Yup, number one is definitely my go to.. it's the easiest to do. I put it on then wrap a belt around me so it stays on like a house coat! Great tips!

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