If have landed on this page, you may be wondering how to keep off the chill of winter. Maybe you are trying to stay warm without using extra electricity. Or maybe your power is out all together. Either way, if you are wondering how to keep warm this winter, I have several different options to choose from. Many of these ideas are ways to stay warm without electricity. Most of these methods are very simple and inexpensive to implement.
Ways To Stay Warm (besides raising the thermostat)
Being born in New Hampshire, you would think I might love cold weather. However, being raised in the South spoiled me and I dislike being cold! Being on the skinny side, I also have less fat reserves to keep me insulated or use as body fuel. Therefore, I have spent my whole life working out the best ways to stay warm!
At the same time, I have always been eco-conscious. Therefore I try to keep my thermostat at a low setting during the winter so I don’t use more gas or electric than I need to use. This winter you may also be making a commitment to lower your thermostat. Even one degree lower than you normally keep it makes a difference. A small change goes a long way both towards being greener and saving money. However, if you are feeling a little chilly, you can use these tips to stay warm!
1. Easy Home Maintenance
You can use this energy saving checklist to make simple home improvements that will work to conserve heat. The biggest area of opportunity is usually stopping the airflow between the indoors and outdoors. For example, if the cold air is blowing in under your door! This could be as complicated and expensive as adding a storm door or as easy and inexpensive as blocking the air flow with a DIY door draft stopper. The same applies to your bedroom windows. If you feel cold wind while indoors, follow it to the source and stop the airflow with insulation of some type.
According to smarterhouse.org, “The worst culprits are usually not windows and doors, but utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.”
To add an extra layer of insulation, install window coverings. Then, be sure to close curtains or draw blinds in the evening. Make sure fireplace dampers are closed, unless the fireplace in use.
2. Add A Layer Of Clothing
I know that dressing warmly seems like a no-brainer but I notice people (like my own kids until I tell them otherwise) walking around in shorts and a t-shirt in their house in the middle of winter! Whether you are indoors or outdoors, the best way to handle the cold is dress warmly in extra layers. Inside a sweater or sweatshirt will do. If you are outside on a cold winter day, a base layer, a mid-layer, and a high quality outerwear layer are in order.
An extra outer layer will help prevent heat loss and help you keep your body temperature at a more comfortable spot. Rejoice in a tiny bit of fall and winter chill. Enjoy pulling out a sweatshirt or sweater to keep you warm and cozy indoors. If you have a power outage and it is very cold, go ahead and pull out the hats and mittens as well!
3. Wear Socks
A must for list on how to keep warm in winter is to make sure you wear warm socks or slippers to prevent cold feet! That is another thing my kids always forget and keeping your feet warm is a huge part of helping you feel comfortable and warm overall. If you have cold tile floors, you may want to wear both wool socks and slippers. This is an easy tip and yet so effective.
4. Keep A Throw Blanket On Your Couch
It is fun to cuddle up under the blankets when you are watching TV and you will probably need a little extra warmth if you are engaged in a sedentary activity. Keep a few extra blankets stashed in a basket in your living room. You might even want to use a sleeping bag- the kids will think it is great fun!
5. Try A Warm Beverage
Iced drinks in the winter? No way, they are sure to make you feel cold. Stick with room temperature drinks or a warm beverage will warm you up. The cooler weather is a great time to enjoy hot tea. And many types of tea provide medical benefits as well, such as a white tea, green tea, and herbal teas. I have several cups of tea a day during the winter. Or go ahead and indulge in an occasional cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or hot apple cider.
6. Cook At Home
Don’t eat out. Save money and cook yourself a warm meal at home. Cooking will help warm up your house too! Hot meals such as soup are a great choice to help you feel warm from the inside out during the cold winter months.
7. Hand Warmers
Another good idea is to have hand warmers. If you are in a pinch because of power outages, it is nice to have some hand warmers tucked away. Many the available options are single-use air-activated heat packs. Therefore, they are not good for everyday use but could save the day in case you encounter frigid temperatures.
8. Use The Warmest Rooms
If there is no electricity, you may want to stay in the warmest rooms. These will generally be rooms without exterior walls and less windows and doors. Upstairs rooms will usually be warmest because warm air rises.
9. Use a Water Bottle or a Rice Bag To Warm Your Bed
Slipping into a cold bed is no fun but if you use a hot water bottle or a homemade warming rice bag, you can warm the bed up for you climb in. Then, your body heat collects under the covers while you sleep to keep you nice and comfortable.
Another similar idea is an electric blanket or heating pad. Of course, you have to have electricity for those options.
10. Warm Bedding
Turn down the thermostat at night and let your bedding keep you warm and cozy. Using a flat sheet provides an inner layer to keep the heat in. Flannel sheets are another great way to deal with cold temperatures. Fluffy blankets with down feathers are a great insulating layer. Dense blankets will also work for additional insulation against the winter season.
11. Space Heater
The space heater option is pretty low down on my list of ways to stay warm because it can have safety hazards. I have used portable heaters before and they sure do come in handy for keeping one room warm, like an office if you work from home. However be sure to follow safety guidelines in order to prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide or increased risk of home fire.
12. Go somewhere warm
If these tips and tricks aren’t cutting it and you don’t have access to electricity, try to stay with a friend or family member who does until the power comes back on. Another option is to go to a public place that is warm like a community center, a mall, the library, or a temporary shelter.
There you have it: 10 ways to stay warm without electricity plus 2 bonus ways to keep warm in winter! I hope these simple ways to keep warm help you when there is bad weather or cold days. You can fight off that chill and lower your heating bills at the same time. What tips do you use to stay warm besides turning up the thermostat?
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Chris David says
Nice post. I loved the ideas for keeping warm. Thanks for sharing.
Great tips, layering up should definitely be the first thing you do! As for home maintenance, it’s worth checking you have adequate insulation for your roof and your walls. There’s not much point heating your home if all the heat just escapes!