Thermostat wars--Keep Your Home Comfortable in Winter
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.
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.
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.
Door Draft Stopper Pattern
Three: Draft Stoppers
Buy or make some draft stoppers to place at doors and windows. I have here a pattern to make one. Simple. I used fabric recycled from an old dress and fiberfill stuffing from an old pillow.
Not THAT Kind Of Draft....
Instructions For Your Own Draft Stopper
Fabric: your choice of color and type
Stuffing: Polyester fiberfill 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 fiberfill. Again to recycle, use the filling from an old pillow or discarded fiber-filled toy.
Set the Thermostat
My Sock Hot Pad
Four: Hot Pads
For cold bedrooms, warm the sheets with a homemade hot pad.
Create your own hot pads 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.
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?
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.
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.