Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Simple Tricks To Stay Cozy All Winter Long

Simple Tricks to Stay Cozy All Winter Long
Some really great tips you may not know of to save money on winter heating bills and to keep you cozy.

Plummeting temperatures tend to lead to grumbles as you start to turn into an icicle, followed by groans as you spend money to stay warm, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A few easy changes help your home stay toasty without emptying your wallet every month. Here are a few tips to keep your home snuggly warm.

Area Rugs and Carpets Are Your Friends

As much as ten percent of a home’s heat loss can occur through the floor, so it’s important not to neglect what’s underfoot. Not only are area rugs and carpeting stylish, they also act as layers of insulation keeping warmth inside where it belongs. The delightful feeling of an interesting texture on your feet is a creature-comfort bonus! Insulation performance varies by type, size, and weave, so take the time to do a bit of research to find the best match for your décor and temperature-control needs.

Throw Comfort Over Your Furniture

Not much beats the humble throw blanket for creating a cozy bubble of happiness on your favorite sofa or easy chair. Like a blanket for your seating, throws come in a wide variety of fabrics and designs for different seasons and to complement different aesthetics. Choosing a throw that holds in heat while allowing perspiration to pass through is key to staying toasty instead of feeling like you’re in a sauna. The right throw could help you go all day without even turning on the heat!

Change Bedding for More Than Style

Satin and silk feel delightful, but they’re not so great for keeping the chill at bay. When temperatures slide south, it’s time to change the sheets. Consider flannel sheets to help stop heat loss and to avoid the shock of ice-cold fabric against bare skin when you hop into bed. Add nice, thick comforters to create a pocket of coziness you won’t ever want to leave. Pro tip: mattresses absorb ambient temperatures, so a thick, flannel blanket can be a game changer when used directly on the mattress as a sheet.

Give Your Fan New Direction

Take a good look at your ceiling fans from several angles. You’ll find small switches somewhere on the bodies of the fans. Those switches change the direction in which the fans rotate. Flip the switches to one position for a clockwise spin and to the other position for a counterclockwise spin. You want your ceiling fans to be rotating clockwise in the winter at the lowest speed. This produces a slight updraft, causing warm air, which naturally rises, to be circulated more efficiently. Make sure to turn the fan off when you’re not in the room to save even more.

Check the Furnace, Love the Furnace

Everyone’s first response to cold weather is to turn on their trusty furnace. Yet many neglect to ensure the furnace is ready to do the job. It’s one of those things no one thinks about until there’s a problem requiring furnace repairs. Making time each year for a furnace inspection is an important maintenance step every home should take. A furnace that is beginning to fail loses efficiency and costs more to heat your living space. Also, the worst way to find out there’s a problem is to have the furnace go kaput right smack in the middle of winter.
This is my job in our house. I am a stickler about this and in months when we run the furnace, I change the filter every 30 days. Stock up and always have them on hand.

Treat Your Windows

Your windows are easily where most heat is lost. Luckily, just as with throws and blankets, adding an appropriate covering helps stop heat loss. Adding heavier window coverings helps by holding air between the window surfaces and the drapes, which acts as insulation. The denser material also helps keep heat from passing through. Specially designed cold-weather window coverings even include reflective material within the fabric layers, maximizing the amount of heat the coverings hold in. There are myriad choices of colors, patterns, and cuts from which to choose, so your décor won’t have to suffer.

Not a Good Time to Vent

A surprising source of heat loss is the bathroom vent. Bathroom vents lead outside, so when they are in operation, they are pulling the heat being produced by your furnace right out of your living space. It’s like having the heat running with the windows and doors open. You’re just pumping the warm air back out again. You can minimize the impact of the bathroom vent by resolving to run it only when absolutely necessary. When you do operate it, do so only for as long as you need. Don’t leave it running and costing you comfort and cash.

Warm Yourself from the Inside

Your body is adept at producing its own heat to keep you going, but your internal furnace could still use some help. The cold months are perfect times for hot comfort foods, steamy soups and beverages. Put away the cold cuts and iced teas and break out the warm pies and hot cocoa! If you’re worried about your waistline, there are plenty of alternatives that are healthier and less likely to linger on the hips. The key is to make sure most of your cold-weather meals are hot enough to give you some extra pep.

Sometimes You Have to Close a Door

It’s obvious that you should keep your exterior doors closed during the cold months, but not so obvious that you should do the same with interior doors. Your furnace is working to equalize temperature and can do so much more efficiently if areas are compartmentalized. Simply put if you’re not using a room, keep the door closed. This holds heat within the unused room, while allowing the warmth in the areas being used to be more evenly distributed. The result is a more comfortable home without the furnace needing to run as much. Don’t forget the bathroom counts, too!

Snug As a Bug In a (Very Warm) Rug

Living comfortably during the cold months without breaking the bank is a matter of looking at your lifestyle and making simple choices to be more efficient. Recognize where heat is lost and take steps to put up barriers in those places. Stay on top of routine maintenance to keep your furnace going strong. Follow these basics, and you’ll spend your time in Winter Wonderland snug as a bug and twice as happy


  1. Those are all great tips for living the winter life successfully! And having lived in NW Wisconsin all my life, I'll have to say that we have implemented every single one of them every year. Even our front door has a long sock tube (made from discarded wool socks sewn together) stuffed with rice, to keep out any drafts. I'm embracing winter coziness this year, rather than my usual winter complaint that it's too long. At least for now. I'm not making any guarantees. :-) Good post!

  2. What a great list of ideas. I find myself lingering in bed on cold mornings because I am SO snug as a bug...Your sofa with the red fabric looks so inviting. What a wonderful place to open a good book. Stay toasty!

  3. I can sure tell the difference between my floor that has carpet on it and the areas that are exposed wood. The floor at our float cabin is four feet higher than the lake level. It is the first thing to cool off, and the last thing to warm up after we've let the fire go out. We also close the blinds and curtains to keep the heat in and close of the two downstairs bedrooms with curtains over the doorways to direct the heat upstairs to our sleeping lots. One benefit of keeping the one downstairs bedroom cool is that I use it to store my root crops, like an indoor root cellar. - Margy

  4. These are great tips! Thanks for sharing with us at Mommy Monday!