Winter is among us, and spending time inside a cold home is unpleasant. No one likes to sit on their couch shivering, or have trouble getting up in the morning because their bedroom is too cold. You could turn up the heat on your furnace if you have one, but this will result in a much higher bill at the end of the month. Instead, here are a few strategies you can try to help make your home feel warmer, while hopefully staying within your budget.
Let the Sunlight In
To start, find ways to let more sunlight into your home. Even if it’s cold outside the sun is still shining, and the light from the sun can heat up the inside of your home. If you have windows facing towards the sun through most of the day, make sure you’re keeping any blinds or curtains open. Installing new windows is likely not a viable option, so work with what you have already. Then remember to close the windows once the sun goes down, otherwise the heat from inside will just escape.
Use Different Color Schemes
Sometimes you can make a room feel warmer without adjusting the temperature whatsoever. You can do this by using a different color scheme in that room. For example, you could paint the walls a different color, or add in some different furniture pieces. Going with deeper and darker colors will trick your mind into thinking that the room is warmer, when in fact you didn’t do much at all. Here are some warm colors you can use to get started.
Keep the Fireplace Closed
For those of you who have a fireplace in your home, you’ve likely started a fire at some point in an attempt to warm up a room. However, despite what you may think, a fireplace can actually make a room feel colder. That’s because the fire uses air as fuel, and as a result it creates a draft. All the heat within your home will get drawn into the fireplace, then it will escape out the chimney along with any heat the fire itself creates.
Fires can make a room feel cozier and provide some heat if you’re right in front of them, but otherwise can have a negative impact. If you still want to make a fire, consider keeping the doors closed and turning on the fireplace vent fans instead.
Dress in Layers
Rather than adjusting the temperature of your home, it’s often easier to just make yourself warmer by trapping in your own body’s heat. You can do this by wearing some additional layers, or even just getting under a blanket. For example, a good Merino wool base layer will help to trap in heat, and you can wear it underneath your other clothes. If you really want to save money, you can even walk around your home wearing a hat and gloves. You likely won’t have to go to this extreme however – sometimes just adding on a sweatshirt or an extra pair of socks can do the trick.
Check the Insulation Around Your Home
When you do generate heat within your home, you want it to stay there. Even if you run your furnace on overdrive it won’t do much good if all your windows are open. A great thing to check before the colder months arrive is how well insulated your home is. Start by looking for any gaps around your windows or doors. It’s common for gaps to appear underneath doors heading outside – if you see one, add in a door sweep. Inspect each window and door heading outside carefully and seal any gaps or cracks. The more airtight you make your home, the better.
“For safety reasons, it’s also important that your kitchen have proper air circulation,” says White Water Inc., which offers a guide to kitchen and bathroom remodels in Utah. “This might mean doing a few renovations, like installing a new range hood and switching out some appliances.”
After that, look at the insulation within your walls. Your walls need proper insulation to help trap the heat inside. If you think your home could be more efficient, call in a heating expert to have them examine your insulation situation and see if you could use any more.
Add Additional Heat
Finally, your furnace doesn’t have to be the only source of heat in your home. You could also add in something like a wood pellet stove, or even just a small electric heater. These devices are great at heating up single rooms, or even the entire house if you get one powerful enough. They will use more electricity however, so you’ll want to consider this additional cost against the cost savings of using less oil or gas.
Between adding in additional heat sources, trapping the heat inside more efficiently, and doing small things like dressing in layers, you should find the colder months a little more bearable. Hopefully these tips help, and before long you’ll not only feel warmer inside, but your energy bills will start to go down.