Even though it was 60 degrees not even a week ago, the forecast predicted a high of 16 today and there is currently snow on the ground. This is our first winter in our new house, and I'm sad to say that our central heat system is not quite cutting it. We have a heat pump and, even though I don't really know what that means, my brothers who are experts on the subject have tried to explain to me that heat pumps are not known for their efficiency and that this or that might be the problem on why our house struggles to keep a steady 65 degrees without the help of our fireplace. Thank goodness for our fireplace!
But beyond an imperfect heating system, finding additional ways to stay warm on those extra cold days will make a huge difference in your monthly bills! So here are some ways that I stay warm in the winter without cranking up the heat and breaking the bank.
1. Layer up!
I'm sure layering clothing isn't a new concept for you. However, I've found that sometimes people forget this extremely simple concept. A lot of people out there just don't like to dress for a season. And I get it! Layers can be restricting! But you would be amazed at how much you can save on your energy bills by adjusting your thermostat by a couple of degrees. If you hate layering, invest in some kind of thin thermal wear that was created for layering and staying warm. These types of clothes are less bulky and more comfortable when layering. It was especially cold the other day and I ended up wearing a pair of thin leggings under a pair of sweatpants and it was amazing how warm I was!
2. Think about your feet
You may have heard that you lose most of your body heat from your head (it's actually a myth btw) but, in my experience, it's your feet that matter. Wearing thick socks and slippers will make a surprising difference in how cold you are. If your feet are cold, you'll be cold. Not to mention, they're also just really comfy so why not?
3. Eat hot, homemade meals
Nothing warms you better than a bowl of hot soup, and nothing heats up the kitchen more than cooking a hot meal! I'm always surprised at how cooking warms me up so fast. So get cooking and stay warm and happy all winter long!
4. Electric blankets
This is my favorite tip for staying warm! I love my electric blanket and will never be without one again! My favorite way to use an electric blanket is on my bed (I know, shocker, using a blanket on my bed!). The magical part about it is that you can turn it on about 15 minutes before bed and never have cold sheets again. Your bed is as comfy getting in as is when you wake up all warm and don't want to get up (you know what I'm taking about). Sometimes when I mention this tip to people they're worried that the blanket might go up in flames while they're sleeping. I suppose it's possible but highly unlikely! Especially with a newer blanket. All blankets made after 2001 have safety features that keep them from overheating. But even older blankets are quite safe to use. My mom and grandmother used electric blankets for years and lived to tell the tale! Just be sure to take gentle care of your blanket and follow the recommendations from the manufacturer for washing and storing.
5. Space heaters
Using a space heater to warm up a small room like a bathroom or office while it is in use can be a good way to warm you up without having to heat the entire house. I have a space heater in our freezing downstairs bathroom and use it when I take a shower. It definitely makes the freezing bathroom bearable to be in, especially since space heaters have gotten more efficient in that past few years. However, I would not recommend this method to heat a large room or the majority of your house.