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?