7 Ways to Stay Warm in a Cold House

Winter_WindowResearch shows that turning down your thermostat by even a few degrees can result in significant energy cost savings over time.

I get cold easily. I hate being cold. Turning down my thermostat even slightly means being more cold.  In my own home, I have decided that keeping the heat up is one of the little luxuries that I don’t mind splurging on. However, I have not always had lived in situations where I’ve had control of the thermostat, and luckily, I have learned a lot of stay-warm techniques that do not involve cranking up the heat. Here are some ideas for maintaining a comfortable body temperature in a colder house.
1. Dress warmer.
Instead of wearing thin summer pajamas in the wintertime or expecting to stay warm with sweat pants and a Tshirt, get comfortable wearing another layer inside the house.  Even just putting on a sweatshirt, robe, or switching to winter flannel pajamas can help keep you warm when your thermostat’s turned down.  And keeping socks or slippers on your feet while in the house can also help keep you warm.
2. Use blankets
I like to curl up under throw blankets when reading in my living room. You can also add an extra blanket or two to all the beds in the house to keep everyone snug when you turn the thermostat down at night.
3. Move Around More
My favorite indoor activities involve lounging around, but there are lots of things to do to get the blood circulating. Do you have any interior decorating projects you’ve been putting off? What about organizing that closet? Do you have gift wrapping to do? Is there a room you want to rearrange? If you avoid your normal exercise routine because it involves walking, running, or scraping ice off the car to go to the gym, can you re-create an indoor version?
4. Spend more time outside
Especially when it’s cold outside, spending time outdoors will make the inside seem warmer.  This may seem counterintuitive, because spending time in a cold outside will make you colder, except that chances are you’ll be moving about a lot more outside.  Maybe you’re shoveling snow for yourself or your neighbors. Maybe you’re hanging Christmas lights or finding the best walk in your neighborhood to view the change in seasons. Like #3, this suggestion gets your blood circulating and will warm you up.  And then when you come back inside, it will feel toasty warm.
5. Drink hot beverages.
Maybe this is why I learned to love tea. Regular tea, in my opinion, tastes best with a little milk and sugar, although some people prefer it without. There are a variety of herbal teas that don’t have the bitterness of regular tea.  Coffee, hot chocolate, warm milk, hot cider, wassail, and various other concoctions are all good at warming the insides. If you are a regular drinker of plain water, try switching to hot water during the colder seasons.
6. Stop all the drafts.
Thin windows, ill-fitting doors, uninsulated walls are all ways for the cold to sink in.  Even hanging up blankets over passageways or windows can help trap the heat in.
7. Cook a lot
Having the oven and stove on throughout the day will create a lot of heat in the kitchen, and spending time there will make it one of the warmest rooms in the house.  There’s the added benefit of eating the hot food once it’s prepared.

Personally, I get cold easily.  I hate being cold.  Turning down my thermostat even slightly means being more cold.  In my own home, I have decided that keeping the heat up is one of the little luxuries that I don’t mind splurging on.  However, I have not always had lived in situations where I’ve had control of the thermostat, and luckily, I have learned a lot of stay-warm techniques that do not involve cranking up the heat.  Here are seven ideas for maintaining a comfortable body temperature in a colder house.

1.  Dress warmer.

Instead of wearing thin summer pajamas in the wintertime or expecting to stay warm with sweat pants and a Tshirt, get comfortable wearing another layer inside the house.  Even just putting on a sweatshirt, robe, or switching to winter flannel pajamas can help keep you warm when your thermostat’s turned down.  And keeping socks or slippers on your feet while in the house can also help keep you warm.

2. Use blankets

I like to curl up under throw blankets when reading in my living room. You can also add an extra blanket or two to all the beds in the house to keep everyone snug when you turn the thermostat down at night.

3.  Move Around More

My favorite indoor activities involve lounging around, but there are lots of things to do to get the blood circulating.  Do you have any interior decorating projects you’ve been putting off?  What about organizing that closet?  Do you have gift wrapping to do?  Is there a room you want to rearrange?  If you avoid your normal exercise routine because it involves walking, running, or scraping ice off the car to go to the gym, can you re-create an indoor version?

4.  Spend more time outside

Especially when it’s cold outside, spending time outdoors will make the inside seem warmer.  This may seem counterintuitive, because spending time in a cold outside will make you colder, except that chances are you’ll be moving about a lot more outside.  Maybe you’re shoveling snow for yourself or your neighbors. Maybe you’re hanging Christmas lights or finding the best walk in your neighborhood to view the change in seasons. Like #3, this suggestion gets your blood circulating and will warm you up.  And then when you come back inside, it will feel toasty warm.

5.  Drink hot beverages.

Maybe this is why I learned to love tea. Regular tea, in my opinion, tastes best with a little milk and sugar, although some people prefer it without. There are a variety of herbal teas that don’t have the bitterness of regular tea.  Coffee, hot chocolate, warm milk, hot cider, wassail, and various other concoctions are all good at warming the insides. If you are a regular drinker of plain water, try switching to hot water during the colder seasons.

6.  Stop all the drafts.

Thin windows, ill-fitting doors, uninsulated walls are all ways for the cold to sink in.  Even hanging up blankets over passageways or windows can help trap the heat in.

7. Cook a lot

Having the oven and stove on throughout the day will create a lot of heat in the kitchen, and spending time there will make it one of the warmest rooms in the house.  There’s the added benefit of eating the hot food once it’s prepared.

Image courtesy of freefoto.com

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