Let’s just cut to the chase — it’s freezing out and we wish our homes could be a little warmer. And while we all know the standard practices from adjusting the thermostat to making sure our windows are sealed and lighting a fire, there are definitely some tricks we’re missing.
1. Close off unused rooms.
Keeping doors closed won’t just prevent cold air from moving into the rest of the house — it will help contain the heat you’ve generated (whether it be from a fireplace, radiator or elsewhere).
2. Set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise.
Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be changed seasonally. By setting them clockwise in the winter at a lower speed, you can drive warm air down towards you and your guests.
3. Change your sheets.
Again, sometimes simple is tremendously effective when it comes to keeping warm. Swap cotton for flannel sheets, grab a down comforter and don’t forget about the value of extra blankets.
4. Add some layers to your floor.
Area rugs aren’t just a way to add color and style — they were invented for the practical reason of keeping your floors cozy. Floors account for as much as 10 percent of heat loss if they’re not insulated, according to the National Energy Foundation, and rugs can be that missing insulation. They’ll keep cool air from seeping up into the room, and your toes will definitely thank you.
5. Foil away.
Wasted heat means wasted money — but a little DIY can always save the day. Putting tin foil behind the radiators in your home reflects heat back into the room, rather than allowing it to escape through the walls. Though they do make foil specially designed for this purpose, the quality stuff in your kitchen will also do the trick.
6. Turn off your bathroom fan.
And the one in your kitchen, for that matter! Exhaust fans in these rooms pull hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your home. If you must use them, turn them on sparingly and be sure to shut them off when you’re done.
7. Try something old-fashioned.
Hot water bottles and bags of rice or dried beans warmed up in the microwave may seem old school, but hey, they still work. If you don’t have either of those, running a hot pan (or a blowdryer, for a more modern take) over your sheets works, too.
hot water bag
8. Re-arrange your furniture.
Sitting by the window can cause radiant heat loss from your body to the glass make you feel cold. To avoid this, make sure your furniture is not in front of a large window or pushed up against an outside wall. Additionally, avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of radiators as the say, couch or sofa, will absorb the heat you want.
9. Worry about the person, not the house.
At the end of the day, hats, cozy socks and turtleneck sweaters can all be good friends this season. And who doesn’t love enjoying a good cup of hot cocoa by the fire? If done right, focusing on heating yourself can give you that warm feeling you’ve been missing while also helping slash those horror-inducing heating bills.