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Keeping Warm Indoors In Cold Weather

Updated on December 31, 2012

Staying warm during the winter can be a challenge, especially when trying to lower the utility bill. As the cold weather starts settling in, it also seeps and blows into our homes. There are ways to combat the chill without breaking the bank. There are ideas to use to stay warm in your home, stave off the chill that don’t cost a lot of money. Layered clothes, blankets, warm food, windows and doors that are less drafty all help to keep the chills away.

Take a caulking gun with a tube of caulk in it and place it where you can easily get to it. When you feel a draft caulk it! When I first moved into my home the first winter I laid out a caulking gun with a tube of clear caulk, anytime I felt a draft I caulked it. Baseboard, around built in bookshelves, windows, feel a draft caulk it.

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Windows

Warm air doesn’t want to stay in a house it tries to escape through windows. Windows let light into our homes but they are poor insulators. The windows need to better insulators and not leak out the warm air or leak in the cold from outside.

Open blinds and curtains during the daytime to heat the rooms in your home with sunlight.

Hang insulated curtains or drapes on your windows. Light flimsy curtains can be changed out for insulated curtains or drapes during the winter. Attach curtains or drapes to your curtain rods and leave the light flimsy curtains underneath, pull back heavy curtains in the daytime to let the light shine into your home.

Shutters on windows help cut the wind and insulate well at night.

Old windows check the putty, cracked and missing putty allows a lot of cold air to flow in.

Place a thick layer of plastic window film over your window, window insulator kits, keeps out a lot of cold air.

If you have storms on your windows remember to put them up or close them.

A draft at the bottom of a window, place a draft snake or rolled up towel to keep that cold air out.

Hold a tissue near your window, if it blows around you have found a draft. Making windows less leaky and less drafty keeps the windows from changing the entire temperature in your home.

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Doors

Before winter check the caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows. Use foam tape and bristle strips around the door or at the top of a door, door sweeps with bristles work good on the bottom of doors.

Many entry doors leak cold air in like crazy. You can improve with weather stripping. Hanging a curtain over entry doors couldn't hurt. You will immediately tell the difference in heat retention in the room. A heavy insulated curtain is a practical way to keep out the cold air. Use a tie-back in the day to pull the curtain back and close the curtain at night.

Doorway/Halls

Have a doorway with no door and a draft. Use a push rod to hang an insulated curtain over the doorway. Sew shower curtain rings or a strip of material on the top back of the curtain to just slide the curtain onto the push rod.

Place curtains in room doorways to keep the heat in the room and out of the hallway.

Make or purchase draft snakes to place against the bottom of outside doors to keep the drafts out.

Basement door have a draft place a draft snake or towel at the bottom of the door.

Patchwork Draft Stopper
Patchwork Draft Stopper | Source
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Draft Stoppers

Draft snake or stoppers can be purchased or you can make your own. Use material or cut up old clothes and make a patchwork draft stopper. Fill the draft stopper with kitty litter, sand, toy stuffing, or poly fiberfill. To prevent insects don't use perishable fillers such as rice,beans, or corn.

Measure the width of the door. Add a few inches, about 9" x 41" for a 36" wide door. Use a tight-woven fabric. The short end that will be closed last you can fold over to create a hem so that the edges are not ragged.

Fold fabric in half lengthwise (inside of the tube is showing). Sew with a 1/2" seam, backstretch for strength at the end of the seam.

Turn the tube right side out. Fill tube (using a funnel makes it easier to fill). The tube needs to be flexible, fill until it is slightly firm. Pin the open end closed and stitch by hand or machine.

Free crochet pattern for door draft snake. A furry draft snake does a great job of blocking drafts under the door.

Craft Project: Knitted Door Draft Stopper. A free knit pattern with pom poms on the ends and stuffed with toy stuffing.

Critters That Keep Out the Cold are sewn from women's tights and filled with rice.

Exercise

Start an exercise program and you may find that your body temperature is able to regulate itself much better and more consistently. Jump on an exercise bike and start pedaling.

Housework

Rearrange furniture to make sure heating vents are not blocked. Moving around will warm you up; vacuuming and ironing taking items upstairs that are downstairs.

Warmer colors can help a person fill warmer; add throws to rooms to snuggle under.

Add rugs to bare floors to keep from experiencing freezing cold floor shock when stepping on them.

Heat rises up, run your ceiling fan in reverse to push the warm air down.

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Layer Clothes

Dress for the season; wintertime means sweaters and layers not t-shirts and shorts. Turtlenecks, under shirts, cotton thermal undergarments, socks, thermal socks, slippers, there is a variety of winter clothes to choose from.

Fleece tights are good winter wear too, when the temperatures drop extremely low wear fleece tights under pajamas and jeans. Wear slippers and try wearing socks with your slippers to keep the feet warm. Wear a scarf indoors that will help keep you warm and a knit cap to keep your body heat in. Down vest and fingerless mittens will keep you warm also.

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Bed

Wear warmer pajamas: flannel pajamas and long sleeve pajamas. An electric blanket will warm the bed up as will a hot water bottle. Before going to bed place a hot water bottle between the sheets to warm up the bed. If you wrap the hot water bottle in a towel it will keep warmer longer. When you get up in the morning use the water in the hot water bottle to water your house plants. If you are concerned about the electric blanket use it to keep you warm while you are setting and reading.

Flannel sheet sets make a bed a lot warmer. Thermal blankets are light weight and will keep you nice and warm while sleeping. Layer your bed. Bottom sheet, top sheet, thermal blanket, quilts, duvets, throws, there is a huge variety of items to layer on your bed to keep warm while sleeping. Wool, thermal, and puffy blankets (a down comforter) work great at keeping the warmth in.

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Make A Rice Bag Warmer

Take two pieces of cotton material a good size would be about 12" by 16". Pin the pieces together with the right sides facing each other. Sew around long sides and short side using a 1/4 inch seam. Turn right side out and fill about 3/4 full with rice, (Use long grain rice, not instant rice.) You can add a scented oil such as lavender oil for a nice smell that will help you relax. Fold in a 1/2" seam and stitch the end closed.

To make a cover use an old towel or a piece of fleece. Cut cover material slightly larger than the rice warmer. Fold material and sew sides closed. Sew Velcro fasteners at the open end so you can remove the cotton rice bag and launder the cover.

Warm the rice bag in the microwave about 3 minutes. Place in the cover and fasten with the Velcro. Tuck between bed sheets to warm the bed up.

A Waterless Hot Water Bottle. A fancy pattern to create a fleece shaped rice warmer.

More Ideas

Shawls are wonderful to wrap around you while sitting or while on the computer.

Bake more. Ovens will warm the house up and make it smell delicious.

Drink hot liquids; hot cocoa, hot chocolate, coffee, hot water, hot tea, a guaranteed way to warm up.

While you are home burn candles they smell nice and will warm up a room.

Struggle with a pet. Cats and dogs put out a lot of heat. A dog’s normal body falls within the range of 100°F to 102.5°F (about 38°C to 39.2°C). A cat's normal body temperature ranges from 100.5°F to 102.5°F (about 38°C to 39.2°C).

Take a hot shower or a hot bath.

Keep warm!

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