10 Tips: How To Keep Your House Warm This Winter

Amazon ImageI remember the first winter after our wedding.  We were living in north Texas, which at least once or twice a season will get a real blast of winter.   It may change in a day or so, but for a few days it would always be bitter cold.

One day a winter storm was forecast to blow in.  We knew the apartment was drafty and hard to keep heated well (electric heat just wasn’t all that efficient in the 80s).

But the morning we woke up to a small drift of snow having blown inside the apartment by the closed door we knew we had a problem.  And the high electric bills didn’t help.

So what can you do that will help keep the house warm this winter without breaking your bank account?

1.  Check for drafts around windows – Lots of cold air finds its way in to your home via drafty windows.

Duck Brand 1299529 Indoor 5-Window Shrink Film Kit, 62-by-210-Inch


2. Replace weather stripping — it’s rubberized plastic in most instances and gets brittle with age.  When it begins to wear down, the cold north winds blow in.

3. Heat the parts of the house you are in — If you have this ability, only heat the parts of the house you actually use.  Of course, if you live in a cold enough environment where pipes freezing is a real possibility, adjust your approach.  But one thing you can do is to keep the overall temperature in your house at a lower level well, and then heat the parts you actually stay in.

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat


4.  Pay attention to the sunshine – Our house gets a big blast of afternoon sun right on our bedrooms.  As I wrote in this popular post about keeping your house cool, we work around this in the summer by keeping the blinds closed in the afternoon.  But for the winter, we do exactly the opposite.  We make sure to open the blinds any time we have a chance of the sun shining in.  That makes the house warmer, and keeps the electricity bill lower.

5.  Reverse the direction of ceiling fans — Heat rises.  If the heat your furnace or fireplace or heaters produces rises and stays at the top of your rooms (you know, above where most of us actually inhabit), you are running your heat past its point of real need.  The answer is to move that heat down from the ceiling, and you do that by reversing the direction of your ceiling fan.  You will need to verify that your ceiling fans can be switched to work in a clockwise rotation.

Hunter 28700 Fremont 52-Inch 5-Blade Single Light Ceiling Fan, Premier Bronze with Walnut/Dark Maple Blades and Amber Glass Bowl


6.  No ceiling fans?  Buy some — then read number 5 again.

7. Cook indoors — If you have an oven or even a toaster oven, use it in the winter!  Once you have baked something, crack the door to the oven open and let the heat out.

8. Use a dehumidifier — When we lived in Taiwan we used to joke that you could heat the house just by running the dehumidifier.  This is done two ways – Amazon Imageremoving the humidity helps remove the chill factor, and, the device itself will put off some heat.  Win-win.

9.  Use the fireplace - This is not applicable in all situations, but having fires makes for a cozy way to warm your home, or at least the room you are in.  Take proper precautions, and remember to close the flue when you are done to keep the cold air from pouring down the chimney.

10.  Put up heavy curtains — The point here is the curtains provide an extra means of keeping the cold air from entering your home via the windows.  But remember to open them in the day when the sun is shining!

Solid Thermal Insulated Back Tap Blackout Curtain 63″L- 1 Set-BEIGE – BOC


There you have it!  10 tips for keeping your house warm this winter.  What do you do special to warm your house in the winter?


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by Thad on October 26, 2012 · 17 comments

in hacks,life

  • bryan flake

    I want to replace our metal style blinds that keep getting bent and broken. What is the most durable type of blinds for windows? I am thinking vertical blinds by the way.

    bryanflake1984| http://www.cricklewoodinteriors.com/drapes-blinds-windowcoverings.html

  • Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2013 — Thad Thoughts

  • Kat Brennan

    I am going to print out this article! I live in Utah so it’s really cold during the winter and my place doesn’t have the best insulation. I’ve been looking online to try to find the best tips to keep the heat in. I was thinking of calling a heating service in Salt Lake City to have them come in and fix my heater and then maybe that combined with these tips will keep my place toasty warm all winter.

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

      We don’t get that cold in our corner of Texas, but I have used some of these even here!

  • rhettshields

    Thanks for all the advice. Our heating in Calgary isn’t working and you can imagine how cold it gets. My wife doesn’t handle the cold well so I thought I would see what we can do for her until we get things fixed. Thanks again.

  • http://homeappliancewire.wordpress.com/ homeappliancewire

    really great post on how to keep house warm.

  • http://www.atticfan.com/ Dana Caffrey

    This information is really awesome! I will definitely follow your tips. By the way, can I ask something, I want to put some kind of weather stripping on the doors between the rooms? Can I do that? do you think it will help?

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com Thad

      I don’t think it would hurt, but you might limit the weather stripping on inside doors to those rooms you spend most time in.

  • http://prairieecothrifter.com Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

    Great post. These are really practical. You could add to put the window plastic coverings on your windows to keep insulation good. We have done this in our garage and it really helps with preventing heat loss. We are going to now put some in the house.

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com Thad

      Anything that buttons the house up tight seems to be a great help. Our best help, as I mentioned, is maximizing the sun shine affect.

  • http://www.financeoutline.com Edwin

    Hi Thad.. This information is really superb and I will follow your points.

  • Scarlett Rose

    This are real good tips to keep warm and not go bankrupt. Last year, my electricity bill was awful during the winter. Love the number 4 tips most. As I don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy some of benefits of solar energy.

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com Thad

      Good point! Most solar energy is really not cost effective. But letting the sun in to your house? Absolutely free!

  • Craig

    Here’s another consideration about number 9. MythBusters demonstrated that using the fireplace heats the room where the fireplace is, the other rooms cool a few degrees, as the fire sucks the oxygen (and warm air) from the other rooms. Its a reminder to check the weatherstripping.

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com Thad

      I wonder if putting some kind of weather stripping on the doors between the rooms?

  • http://worksavelive.com Jason

    Our house has an electric heating system and it’s miserable in the winter. We pretty much use our space heater to heat up each room that we’re going to. :)

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com Thad

      That’s what we have too, and it is not “warm” so much as it is loud (and expensive).

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