Our new house is a passive solar house, meaning that it has the correct southern orientation during the winter that the sun beams in through the giant windows to heat the place during the day. We have huge windows all along the front of the house, so the sun comes in, hits the concrete floors, and heats up the interior to 70+ degrees – even if it is only 10 degrees outside. Free heat is absolutely fantastic, and our cat is loving the warm floors. However, around 9 or 10 at night, it does start to get a tad chilly as all the heat has dissipated – and then it is time to either head to the warmth of bed or have the radiant floor heat kick in. And this can get expensive, as our water heater(s) are powered by propane, which is not cheap right now. So while we have the radiant set to kick on if it goes below 62 in the house, there are a bunch of things we could do to stay a little warmer that also don’t cost as much money as running the water heater at full blast!
Insulate, insulate, insulate. Rolls of insulating tape cost a few bucks and can normally do several windows or doors. If you have a drafty house, spending $5 could go a long way to save you money and keep you warm.
Buy yourself a space heater. These can be very inexpensive and very efficient at the same time. We have one that we are able to move to where we are in case we are very cold. And they sure are safer now than the ones my parents had when I was a kid!
Put a towel under a door. I won’t say much about this other than remember in college when kids did this in their dorm rooms to, um, keep a certain smell from escaping? The trick still works, but this time to help you stay warm!
Close off unused rooms. We have a guest bedroom that is only used for when people stay with us – so we keep the door shut and the heat turned off in that space.
Put on some clothes, would you? It’s winter – dress like it! I normally wear a sweatshirt or fleece in my house at night, as I would rather do that than turn the heat up even higher.
Hang some curtains, if only for the winter. I am not a fan of the way curtains look, especially with the views out my windows, but they do help to insulate the windows. And as an alternative, buy some insulated blinds instead.
Be sure your storm windows are in. Did you forget this year to replace your screens?
Buy pajamas with feet. You know you loved them as a kid; why not try them now? (OK, that is a stretch – I would never in a million years start wearing those again. I remember them feeling like a prison sentence!)
Pick up a programmable thermostat. I have said it again and again, that this could be the best investment you could make to keep your utility bills down.
Keep wool or fleece blankets around. My wife likes to wrap herself up in these to read or watch TV, which then keeps us from having to crank up the heat. They are very inexpensive as well, so picking up a few should not cost you much at all.
Make hot chocolate or tea. A quick pick-me-up of a warm beverage goes a long way to making you feel warmer.
What tips could you add to the list? Let everyone know in the comments!