It has been unseasonably warm here in the Charlotte area…but it seems the New Year will be bringing cold winter weather with it. Here are some in expensive ways how to stay warm. These aren’t “big” projects like buying a new heating system—just inexpensive, resourceful ways to help you warm up now!
1. Dress in layers
Bundle up. Wear long underwear, sweaters, and even hats indoors. Remember the days of “sleeping caps”? They make sense! Yes, wear a cap or hat to keep your head warm. If you’re headed outside, cover your face with a scarf.
To avoid getting overheated inside, wear layers. We recommend a “wicking” polyester (or silk) undershirt next to your skin versus cotton. Just don’t layer yourself so much that you’re pouring sweat. The idea is to keep your body warm AND dry.
2. Keep Your Feet Warm
A good way to keep your feet warm is to wear “house slippers” indoors. We know that it sounds a bit old-fashioned, but having the rubber sole really makes a difference.
Another good way to keep your feet warm is to wear socks. A soft, cozy pair worn to bed will keep your feet toasty warm.
Keep changing your socks! Everybody forgets that your feet sweat, and THAT can make you cold even though you are layered up. Wool socks or “smartwool” keeps your feet from sweating.
For the outdoors, it really helps to insert foam liners in your boots or hiking shoes to give your toes an extra layer of insulation again the cold earth.
3. Heat Up Your Bed
Don’t turn up the heat for the entire house. Use an electric blanket. An even cheaper and safer option may be a hot water bottle with a wool or fleece cover. Many of us most likely have never warmed their bed with a hot water bottle, so here are some simple instructions on what to do. Fill your water bottle with hot water from the faucet before going to bed and slip it into the foot of the bed between the sheets. By the time you’re ready for bed it’s all nice and toasty at your feet. Believe it or not the water bottle stays warm all night long.
4. Harness the Sun
During the day, open the blinds and curtains on the south-facing windows—and let the Sun warm you. At night, close the blinds and curtains to better insulate your home.
5. Block Drafts
Beyond weather-stripping, which is difficult with old houses, consider these tips:
Hang blankets to close off the open stair well going to the second floor, since heat raises it keeps the warm air downstairs were most people spend most of our time.
Don’t forget to put something at the bottom of outside doors—you can just feel the cold air pour in. You can buy a fancy roll or just use a blanket or towel.
Just like layers of clothing, put layers at the windows. Between the window and the thermal-backed drapes hang closed venetian blinds and a flannel-backed tablecloth.
6. Stay Active
Get your body moving. Keep active, this is a good time to clean out closets, garages, etc. Anything to keep active. If you get a chill just sitting, get up and stir around, the movement not only warms you up but also stirs the heat in the house. Children are great when playing, they stir the air around.
7. Humidify Your Home
Not only does a humidifier keep your house warmer, it also eliminates drying indoor air. If you have a humidifier in the bedroom, you can turn the heat down a couple extra degrees overnight. In the morning, I raise the heat by about 2 degrees at a time instead of making the furnace work hard to raise it all at once.
Of course, the best way to raise the humidity in your house is with a Whole Home Humidifier. Contact us here at Horne for more details, we have Whole Home Humidifiers that can be installed on your existing HVAC system.
If you don’t have a humidifier, here’s another idea: When you take a bath in winter, leave the water in the tub after you get out. If you let it sit until it reaches room temperature, it will add a little warmth to the house and help humidify it, too!
If you have some simple tips to stay warm we would love to hear about them…please share them on our Facebook page.