Tips for Keeping Warm at Home During the Winter Season
It’s winter season and you’re listening to Louis Armstrong’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside. It makes you want to stay inside where it’s warm and toasty, right? Staying warm and toasty indoors isn’t always an easy feat, though. It is, however, very possible. It may even be accomplished while saving money on utilities since there are a few tricks on how to stay warm in winter. Winter season is actually a great opportunity to cut back expenses on utilities. In Summer, air conditioning may prove to be a necessity and there may not be a way to go around it to keep cool. The good news is that staying warm during the cold days will not always require you to crank up your heaters at home. There are plenty of practical ways to stay warm. No matter where you may be staying, some tricks on how to stay warm at home are virtually universal.
Minimize the flow of wind into your house.
It is always of utmost importance to block the wind from coming into your home if you want to get warm and stay that way. Winter drafts have been known to drop the temperature by a hundred percent, possibly even more. Watch out for air leaks. Check your doors and windows, and be sure to seal them off to prevent cold air from sneaking in.
Hang up those curtains on your every window, and make them serve their actual purpose. They are more than just decorations. Curtains are very useful in stopping winter drafts. Use super thick drapes to stop drafts from leaking in through your windows.
Much like curtains, portieres are also helpful in stopping that draft. Hanging portieres is an old tradition of hanging floor-length drapes in between rooms. These drapes prevent drafts from wide hallways or unused rooms from seeping into rooms you would rather keep warm.
You may also plant wind-blocking hedges around your house to stop strong winds from blowing into your house. Other wind-blocking structures that you may consider are tall fences or trees. Pay special attention to the north side of your home.
If you are looking for a more permanent and drastic way of stopping winter drafts, and you have enough budget to spare, you may consider building a vestibule around your front door, especially when your front door opens directly into your living room. Small glassed-in vestibules could work. They are small enough and will not take too much space, yet they are still able to let the sunshine in to warm the house. Adding a vestibule will help you protect the insides of your home from wind that may blow in every time your front door is opened. Another way is to enclose your porch. This works against winter drafts pretty much like a vestibule does.
Insulate your house.
Keep your walls and windows insulated. Do not forget to insulate your ceiling as well since we all know that warm air tends to rise. If your house is equipped with an attic, do insulate it or fill the space up with storage. A filled up attic will aid in keeping the heat from escaping your home.
You may consider changing your window type to casement or awning windows. This type of windows provides the tightest seal and is much less drafty than sliding windows or single-hung and double-hung windows.
Add layers to your outside walls by leaning things against them. This will give you additional barriers from the cold winds.
Light it up.
Not everyone has the luxury of lighting up a fireplace so perhaps it’s time you light up all those candles you have kept on display for far too long. Aside from providing you with a good ambience for snuggling in and some good old aromatherapy, lighted candles will also provide you warmth during those cold winter nights.
Get some cooking done.
Warming your stove up to cook some satisfying meal will not only warm the air around your house but will also give you something warm to fill your stomach with. Having food in your system will definitely warm you up. Those added calories will put your body to work. A tip to keep in mind is that eating extra fats will start up your metabolism, therefore heating your body up.
Keep it hot, hot, hot.
Warm yourself up by sipping on some hot choco or your favorite cup of coffee. Although drinking cold liquids is actually a better trigger for your body to warm up, warm drinks may serve to give you the placebo effect. You may also relax with some herbal tea. Soups are excellent warmers, as well. If you’re looking to warm your body with some snack but you’re worried about putting on some unwanted weight, indulge on warm, spicy meals. These will surely keep you hot while burning more calories than you took in.
Keep your breath.
Our bodies are naturally warm so it only follows that we are full of hot air. Notice how your breath is warm? You can take advantage of that. Putting a non-suffocating blanket over your face while you sleep can help trap the warmth. Canopy beds work on the same concept. The canopy above the bed helps keep the heat coming from you in your bed while you are asleep.
Move your way around.
Moving is always a good idea. Keep your blood pumping by moving your body. This is a great way to produce your own heat. Dance along to your favorite bump and grind tune. Run around. Run in place. Just keep moving.
Unleash the yogi in you.
If you know your way around yoga, you probably know which yoga positions will help raise the body’s core temperature. While moving around is a great idea to get some body heat going, meditation works just as well. The key is focusing on your breathing. With meditation, you learn to become aware of the sensations that you are feeling and train your mind to accept them. Meditation will help you relax your body and take control over it.
Layer, layer, layer.
There is a reason why bundling up is a pretty obvious way to keep warm: it works. Adding some extra layers is definitely a great and cozy way to keep warm since the layers will trap your body heat. Layering is also convenient since it allows you strip off your clothing by layer once your body heats up. The important thing to remember is to keep your core warm. Do not forget to wear that extra shirt or two for layering. Keep your toes and fingers warm and toasty by wearing comfortable socks and gloves. Warm your head by protecting your ears with a muffler. If you don’t like feeling bulky, you may consider going for a long underwear instead of wearing leggings. With today’s technology, much of cold-weather apparels are now made to be slim so as to minimize that bulky feeling when you layer.
Take a warm shower or bath.
Taking a warm shower or bath will not only relax your body but will also warm up your body temperature. This is an especially helpful thing to do before going to bed.
Keep those blankets on stand by.
Always keep your feet under a blanket before going to sleep since your feet will almost always be the first parts of your body that will get cold. Keep your blankets and comforters close to your bed in case you might need to add more layers during the night. Remember to use your luxurious sheets and quality comforters first before throwing in the flannel sheets for better insulation. Layer your blankets by alternating thin and thick sheets. Depending on how cold you get during the night, it might be wise for you to invest on an electric blanket. In some cases, other people opt for a heated mattress pad. Use the electric blanket to warm your bed up. Just remember to unplug the blanket before you actually go to sleep. Electric blankets, which work on electricity, are fire hazards when kept plugged in overnight. Take special care of the cords of the blanket as well and avoid them from getting damaged by friction when ran between your mattress and box spring. It is also important to note that one should not use an electric blanket with a heated mattress pad as this could lead to overheating.
You lose your body heat through conduction whenever your body gets in contact with something cold, like the chilly floor of your bedroom perhaps? Place snuggly rugs around your bed to avoid getting a chilling shock in the morning when you get up from bed or in the middle of the night when you make a bathroom call. Use gloves and mittens for your hands. Keep your toes protected by warm, wooly socks. Wool is perfect for insulation so be sure to stock up on wool socks. House slippers may also be a good idea to keep your feet warm as you move around your house.
Employ the good old hot water bottle trick.
Use a hot water bottle to keep you warm during your sleep. Hot water bottles that are available in your local drugstore should be good enough. These hot water bottles are filled with a liquid that may be warmed using a microwave machine. You can also use the more traditional trick of filling a water bottle with boiled water. You may simply boil water over your stove and fill your water bottle with it. Once you have your hot water bottle, place it under your blanket, near your feet. This should keep you warm while you doze off into your sleep.
Adjust the thermostat.
Consider yourself lucky if your home is equipped with a thermostat that you can adjust to maintain a certain level of warmth around your place. The recommended room temperature is around 65 ℉ or 18 ℃. If you are living with other people, determine the temperature that works for everyone. Do not be afraid to play around with the thermostat to arrive at an agreeable temperature.
Grab your cuddle buddy.
Best of all, use body heat to stay warm. Snuggle close to your sleeping partner to fully enjoy their natural body heat. During bed time, you may even invite your furry friends to sleep with you in the bed to help you stay warm.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- Stay away from alcohol. Yup, you read that right. Skip the booze. Alcohol actually decreases core temperatures. Admittedly, alcohol does make you feel warm, but those are only its initial effects. Remember that alcohol is a downer. Ultimately, it will serve to drop your body temperature down by reversing your body’s reflexes that are in charge of controlling your body temperature. Alcohol also affects your body’s ability to shiver. Shivering is an important warning sign for you to get yourself somewhere warmer. A shiver is a spasmodic contracting and relaxing of muscles, which consumes calories and generates heat in order to replace the body heat that you may have lost due to the cold situation.
- Be on the lookout for fire hazards. Closely monitor your candles if you are going to light them up. Place your candles or space heaters on stable surfaces that are non-flammable. Keep in mind the three-feet rule. Keep anything that may be flammable at least three feet away from your heat source, be it a candle or a space heater. Light materials, beddings, curtains and clothing may be considered flammable items.
- Don’t forget your furry friends. Although they have their fur coats to keep them warm, dogs and cats can get cold, too, so do watch out for them as well.
- Know the signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia can be a deadly thing so it is best to know how to recognize it. Some signs and symptoms include: shivering, lack of coordination, slurred speech, confusion and drowsiness.