As winter sets in soon for us in the Northern hemisphere, it’s important that we start preparing our homes. I don’t know about you, but I hate being cold, especially when I’m at home. Of course, there are days that are simply too cold out to get the results you want inside. And, yes, I’ve experienced them here in the Midwest, USA. There are things you can do personally to keep warm like wearing a sweater or slippers. But here are my top 6 hacks to keep your home warmer this winter.
Keep Your Home Warmer #1: Good Up-to-date Thermostat and Heating System
Obviously, the best way to warm your home is with heat that’s generated from a good heating system. No matter what type you have, make sure it is appropriate for the size of home you live in. Having a too small furnace for a large home not only won’t heat it well but will cost you a fortune trying to meet your needs. If you can’t replace or upgrade your system, take good care of what you have until you can. If you have any rooms without heating or that tend to be colder, add a safe space heater or check out some other options at places like warmrooms.co.uk.
Just as with an old or outdated furnace, your thermostat can be the culprit for poor heating and higher bills. Truthfully, there is some really cool technology in the industry that can bring your heating efficiency way up. Some of these new thermostats actually use your WiFi so you can program them from anywhere. They also will track your heating and cooling so you know exactly when your system is active. This helps to use less energy and saves you money.
Heating and cooling experts recommend to set the thermostat from 65-72 F or 18-21 degrees C. These settings, of course, depend on whether someone is home, sleeping, and what else they are doing. For example, if you are working out, you will naturally want to have your heat turned down.
Keep Your Home Warmer #2: Proper Insulation
Heating your home efficiently helps immensely, however, if you don’t insulate your home, much of the generated heat is lost through the roof and the walls. We lived in an old farmhouse once that was not insulated well. OMG, our house was never warm and the bills were astronomical! On top of that, it was one of the coldest and snowiest winters we’d had in Indiana for years. So, if you think that insulating is too expensive, think again. A one-time investment will tame those high bills and make your home much more comfortable.
Keep Your Home Warmer #3: Reduce Air Leaks
Having old windows and doors is another leading cause of heat loss at home. Again, you could have an efficient heating system and still be throwing that comfortable warm air and your money right out the window…literally. If you can upgrade your windows and doors to high-efficiency ones, do it. If not, try sealing them with plastic in winter months. Yes, it’s a pain, but it will help you keep warm. For drafty doors, try making excluders or completely closing off bad doors for the season.
Keep Your Home Warmer #4: Use Your Curtains
Your curtains are a powerful tool when it comes to keeping your home warm. In the daytime, when the sun is out, open your curtains to allow the sun to heat your home. Then, as soon as it starts to get dark, close them to help keep this warm air inside. If you have a little money to invest, go for thermal insulation drapes that are generally heavier and help keep warm air in and cold air out.
Keep Your Home Warmer #5: Use Your Oven or Fireplace
Don’t turn your oven on just to heat the kitchen. This is a waste of power and can be dangerous. But, when it’s been on, leave it open while it cools. The oven stays hot for a while after it’s been turned off, as it cools naturally. Additionally, if your fireplace is in good working condition, use it to bring some extra warmth to your home. Some gas fireplaces have fans that actually force the heat out into the room. I think even looking at a wood burning fire helps to keep you warm.
Keep Your Home Warmer #6: Add Texture
Another great way to warm your home is by keeping it cozy with added texture. Layer your rooms with rugs, blankets, cushions and other soft furnishings. Try to stick to deep, dark colors to create a warm atmosphere. You can also add softer lighting options such as candles, lamps, and lanterns which can all make a room feel warmer. Yes, it may be psychological, but it works.