07 Jan 2014

Keeping Your Home Warm When The Weathers Cold

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Do you live in a big, drafty house? Does your house run solely on electric heating? Here are a bunch of great tips to help keep you toasty warm in the winter when your house is freezing!

1. Go around your house and check all of your windows. Check to see that all of your windows are properly shut. This includes making sure storm windows are down and your Windows should be latched. Use a lit incense stick to check for drafts and if you find they are leaking, you should cover them in a clear plastic. You could buy the plastic from your local hardware store or you could go cheap with a clear, plastic shower curtain. Another tip on the cheap would be to stuff the area with the leak with a towel or an old t-shirt.

2. Seal your doors. Check around the door frame and also under the door. You may want to buy weather stripping or a door sweep. Again, at minimum, make a draft blocker(if you’re the crafty sort) or stuff a towel at the bottom of the doors.

3. Close off any unused rooms. The closed door makes that room another barrier between you and the wicked winter weather. It also stops air from circulating as much, which reduces heat loss. Hardware, home improvement, or department stores sell magnetic register covers to ‘shut off’ registers in unused rooms. This way only the registers in the rooms you use will pump out heat. Your heater will work more efficiently and the warmth will be concentrated in the rooms you choose. This saves money AND keeps you warmer!

4. Put up sets of heavy curtains. These can block drafts on both windows AND doors. Open them when the sun is shining to help pull in the solar heat into your house and close them when it gets cloudy or dark out to better keep the heat in. You can either purchase these from a department store or you can get creative and make them yourself. If you’re purchasing, be certain to get the kind with an insulated backing.

5. Dress warmly. Hats are a great idea, as it is a well known fact that 75% of your body heat escapes from your head. Layer yourself with loose clothing article, rather than tight.. heat accumulates in the folds of the layers, keeping you much warmer than a tight sweater. You should wear slippers with socks, preferably two pair or one pair of wool socks. Wool is your friend! Don’t wear your winter coat indoors, this will not help you if you have to go outside for any reason.. you’ll just feel colder faster. Cover up with blankets if you are just sitting around, but that’s just common sense.

6. Cook. Steam will raise the moisture level in your home, making you feel warmer. Make a large pot of soup, put the kettle on for tea (or cocoa, or instant coffee.. whatever you please) Bake bread or cookies. Your oven will help to heat the kitchen. The kitchen will be warm while you are cooking and the hot food will help take off the chill. Make sure to leave the oven door open after cooking/baking to allow the heat to escape into your house. Eat healthy fats! This will keep your thyroid and metabolism functioning properly, and you’ll stay much warmer.

7.Light candles. Candles can produce a lot of heat, but be mindful of where they are placed and do not leave them unattended. If you look in the right places you can find candles on the cheap and if all else fails, a two dollar package of tea-lights could make a nominal difference.

8. Take a hot shower. Not only will this warm you up quickly, but the steam from the hot water will raise moisture levels in the house, helping the ambient temperature feel about 15 degree warmer. Be sure to run the hot water even after you are finished because the more steam in the air, the better the temperature will feel. Make sure you run your towels and bathrobe (if you have one) in the dryer while you are shower so you have something nice and cozy to dry off with and snuggle into when you’re finished.

9. Last, but not least, cuddle up on the couch or in bed with someone or a pet. The closer you cuddle the more body heat you can build up between the two of you. Think of survival tactics in the elements… people lost at sea are recommended to huddle together in the water to keep body heat up and keep hypothermia at bay. These tactics apply in most situations, so use science to your advantage!