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Thermostat wars--Keep Your Home Comfortable in Winter

Updated on August 17, 2015
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a Baby-Boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

Thermostat wars begin

My husband is a rather cold-blooded guy and likes his home tropical warm. I’m a hot-blooded girl and like it on the cool side. Thus the thermostat wars begin every winter when temperatures drop. How can you save money, win the war and be comfortable? Well, there are a few simple things to try to beat the thermostat wars.

The Battle

Although a good battle can be fun, it's not always appropriate.
Although a good battle can be fun, it's not always appropriate. | Source

Blinds open


One: Window Blinds

Open the blinds during the day to let what little sunlight you may have to warm the rooms naturally. During the summer months here in California, we tend to leave the blinds closed to keep out the blazing hot sun and then forget to reverse that in the winter. The result is living in a cave with the drafts and the cold.

Space Heater


Two: Space Heater

Invest in a space heater; strategically placed near the cold-blooded inhabitants to keep him from bumping up the thermostat. Place yourself strategically in your home or office. The person who needs more warmth should not be place near the door or windows where there is sure to be a draft. Put the desk of the person who wants it cooler there. Place the cold-blooded person just under the vent so he is bombarded with the warm air from the heater first thing. What a strategic battle saver just a little planning will be.

Set the Thermostat

Where do you set the thermostat in winter.

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Door Draft Stopper Pattern

The pattern is simple.
The pattern is simple. | Source

Three: Draft Stoppers

Buy or make some draft stoppers to place at doors and windows. I have here a pattern to make one. Simple.

Not THAT kind of draft....


Instructions for your own Draft Stopper

Materials needed:

Fabric: your choice of color and type

Stuffing: Polyester fiber fill or cotton batting

Measure the length of your door at the base and add 3 inches for seams and overlap.

Cut fabric 5 inches wide for each side or 10 inches total for the worm-shaped draft stopper. I like to use a jersey knit for more durability. To be recycle-conscience, use an old pair of pants or arms from a discarded shirt. They will likely not be long enough so two will have to be sewn together.

Sew the seam(s) inside out and turn right side out leaving one seam open.

Stuff rather tightly with fiber fill. Again to recycle, use the filling from an old pillow or discarded fiber filled toy.

Set the Thermostat

My Sock Hot Pad

Works GREAT!
Works GREAT! | Source

Four: Hot Pads

For cold bedrooms, warm the sheets with a homemade hot pad.

Create your own hotpads using old socks and rice.

Fill the sock about half full of rice.

Sew shut or tie a knot at the top. I like to use old knee-high socks and tie them rather than sew them. Later I can refill the sock with fresh rice or discard with minimal effort lost.

Heat rice pad in the microwave for 30 seconds. The hot pad will stay hot for about 15 to 20 minutes; long enough to warm the sheets and your feet and allow you to fall asleep safely without worry of leaving some electric device on too long.

Cracks cause drafts


Five: Seal Drafts and cracks

Caulk windows and basements were there are likely to be drafts and cracks. In rental homes, I used to tape up clear plastic around the windows each winter to keep out the extra drafts. This didn’t look pretty but helped immensely with the power bill.

Stay Warm


Six: Bundle up

Bundle up. I know this sounds elementary, but so often we tend to curse the darkness instead of lighting a candle. Wearing sweaters and socks or slippers around the house more in the winter helps more than you would think. It just seems so easy instead to go to the thermostat and bump up the number for comfort instead of just wearing another layer, but it will cost you. Plus your hot-blooded partner will have to go naked to compensate for the sauna-like atmosphere. Not pretty.





Seven: Cuddle More

Cuddle more. The winter should be a time when we get closer in our relationships to share love and body heat. I think the winter should be the season when divorces are reduced to zero and marriages increase. I was born in August. I figure my parents were in love and it was a cold winter. Whether this happens or not, it should be a time when we cuddle more, share stories and hot cocoa, and feelings of love. Am I right?

Walking works


Eight: Exercise

Exercise. Okay this is one of those “huh” type suggestions that people don’t want to read any further. But really. We used to have a wood-burning stove and had to cut or split our own wood. My father said if you cut it yourself, the wood warms you twice. He had a point. The physical exertion warmed me up all right, and I didn’t need to bump up the fire. The same is true today even if I don’t have a wood-burning stove. I just need to do some exercise every day to warm up. Kind of a no-brainer. It’s good for me and saves me on the heating bill. Win-win.



Nine: Vents

Close the vents and doors to rooms you don’t use. When we lived in a larger house, we regularly closed the vents and the doors to the rooms we weren’t using, like the guest room and the family room. Why heat those rooms if now one will be in them? Now we live in a much smaller apartment and still we close the bedroom door during the day since no one will be in there till much later. This saves money.


It seems to me that with just a little effort, the winter months can be warm, comfortable and cozy without battling the huge bill later. Win the thermostat war by calling a truce. Peace never felt so good.


Warm Comments Wanted

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      lollyj lm,

      That is so great. I don't know if I will ever fully train my hubby. But he gets the picture that he has turned the thermostat up too high when I start pealing out of my clothes and walking around in January like I'm on a tropical beach! Only then will he turn it down and put on a sweater!



    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 3 years ago from Washington KS

      This lens made me smile. Hubby and I have fought the thermostat wars for years. It took me almost 50 years to train him, but now he bundles up in heavier clothes and covers up with a heavy throw. Your tips are very helpful and sensible.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Rachel, that sounds exactly like me and my honey. Right now he is bundled up like an Eskimo and I'm practically stripped. Oh well. We can laugh.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Thanks Audrey. Glad to know I'm not the only one out there. Haha. Blessings,


    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Lol, I'll tell my husband that.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I would probably settle for the 72* minimum if I had the money. I lowered it below that to try to lower my bill since my budget prefers it.

      The next time that I meet someone named Kevin I will ask if he is cold-blooded Denise. lol

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      I have never found a couple who were the same type. So we must always do what we can to make it better. Great ideas. We will try the ones we haven't tried yet. Blessings. Audrey

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Boy that really reminds me of my husband and me. He's gets colder then I do. I get night flashes and want the covers off of me and he wants an extra blanket. lol We do manage to please both of us. I voted up.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Kevin, the same name as my husband who is also cold blooded and keeps wanting to turn the thermostat up to 80 and cook me right out of the house. Must be something in the name.... haha. Thanks for voting up.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Very interesting and it has organized information. I am cold-blooded but I do not like bills so I keep my thermostat at 68* - in winter - and use those portable heaters. I voted this up, shared it and placed it on Facebook.


    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Thank you DDE, I appreciate it.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Thank you DDE, I appreciate it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and good choices.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I agree with you, DebMartin. I like it a little cooler but my husband claims to be FREEZING so we keep it in the 70's. I feel a tropical climate isn't necessary but I like living with my hubby so I put up with it. Haha.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 3 years ago

      Actually I keep my home at less than 65 degrees in the winter. I like it around 62 or 63. It's amazing what one adjusts too. It's just too bad I have to go through the adjustment period again every fall. Fortunately I work at home so I don't have to adjust from work temps to home temps. I do feel healthier for living in my cooler home. I know I've got better circulation to my hands and feet. And I absolutely swelter when I'm in a home that is heated over 65 degrees.


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