By now you’ve heard tons of cost-effective, energy-efficient tips for keeping your home warm in the winter; make sure doors and windows are insulated, use a programmable thermostat and maintain your heating system, close the fireplace damper, etc.
But what do you do once you’ve completed the list and still find yourself on the chilly side? Here are a few creative – maybe even slightly wacky – ideas for keeping you and your home toasty this winter season.
Head south for the winter
Wouldn’t it be great if we told you to just move to a tropical island until spring? Probably not very realistic, but we do suggest breaking out a compass to identify the windows of your home that face south. Those are the ones with the best sun exposure. Pull back the drapes, open the blinds and let the warmth soak in for the entire day, then button them up as soon as the sun goes down. Make note of whether the trees outside those windows lose their leaves in the winter. You may not be able to cut down evergreens if they’re already there but, if you ever have the opportunity to plant new ones, deciduous trees will let in more sunlight on the warmest side of your home.
Run a humidifier
The cold and flu season is in full swing, so you may already have your humidifier handy. Keep it running even if you aren’t suffering from congestion. It’ll add extra moisture to the air, which helps it feel warmer. The ones shaped like animals add a little extra fun.
Rearrange the furniture
Time to do some heavy lifting. Move furniture away from vents so warm air is able to flow freely into rooms. Move beds away from windows and exterior walls so the cold air that seeps through at night isn’t landing on your pillow. All this furniture moving may affect the feng shui, but you can always move them back in the spring.
Put a rug on it
Un-insulated floors, especially if your home is built on a slab, contribute greatly to heat loss. If you don’t already have area rugs on hardwood, laminate, tile or linoleum floors, consider purchasing a few for winter months. And here’s a fun, very retro idea. Remember those tapestries you had on your walls in college? (You know you did) Throw some up! Even if it’s only in rooms that you won’t be entertaining visitors who might think they’ve time traveled. No matter how well insulated, cold air travels through walls and an extra layer will help.
Think before you bathe
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you stop showering, just don’t run the bathroom vent. The warm, moist air will stay in the home acting as an over-sized humidifier. Similarly, leave hot water in the tub after a bath and don’t drain it until it has completely cooled.
Pile on blankets in the right order
Fluffy blankets and comforters should be closest to you while sleeping, with tighter knit and more dense blankets on top. This will help prevent heat loss and keep you cozy while in dreamland.
Bottom line, your comfort is most important. Let guests admire your new rugs and the elephant-shaped humidifier on the coffee table. It’s a great way to show off your creativity and avoid running your heater on high for the next four months.
What are your favorite creative ways for staying warm in wintertime?