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Tips for Staying Warm While Keeping Your Heat Down Low

Updated on January 27, 2010
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Baby, it's cold outside! We are in the middle of a week where the highs will be in the 20's. Our furnace is cranking nonstop it seems. I think we keep our heat pretty low, but I am sure others do better than us. It isn't a competition, but it would be good for the environment and your wallet if you could turn your heat down low. But how do you stay warm? Here are some tips to help you.

Do you really need to heat the whole house? I am here by myself for a few hours each day while the kids are at school. Rather than keeping the whole house warm enough for me, I can turn the heat down and use a space heater. We have a small electric one that keeps a room very warm. At night are you paying to heat the whole house, while you really only need one or two rooms heated? If so, consider getting an electric blanket and then turn that thermostat down.

Dress appropriately for the weather. We don't wear t-shirts in the winter, just like we don't wear coats in the summer. Also make sure everyone wears socks. Your feet get cold easily, socks prevent this. When we dress appropriately no one complains about the cold - too much anyway.

Use your curtains or blinds! If you have curtains or blinds on the windows, close them at night to keep the heat in and open them during the day to let the sun warm up your house. This also applies to electricity. Natural light is our friend, use it.

Stay active. I find when I have been sitting still for too long I get cold (even when I am under a blanket). Get up and get moving, or better yet, really exercise. This will warm you up and keep you warm for awhile afterwards.

Use your oven. Many people try to avoid using their oven in the summer to keep the house cool. The opposite is true for the winter time. Use your oven and it will heat up the kitchen. I like to leave my oven door open a crack when everything is done, so that all the heat escapes into the kitchen.

Close off rooms that aren't in use. Do you have a spare room that is used rarely? Close the heating vents and door. The hot air blowing through your pipes will be forced out somewhere else. Another aspect of this is to close closet doors if you can. Do your clothes really need to be heated?

Have a fire. If you have a fire place, then use it. This will work best on moderately cold days, not when it is below zero.

Seal any air leaks.  This may seem obvious, but sometimes it is easier said then done.  But it will be worth it if you can figure out a way to stop the hot air from escaping.

Add insulation into your attic.  This can be expensive, but is a pretty easy do it yourself home improvement project.  You will feel much warmer too, so it is well worth it.

It can be hard keeping a house warm in the winter time, but these tips should help you do that, while also saving your money. A win-win for everyone.


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    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      Hi! What I do is wear a fleece sweater, and then I rely on my hands. If they're cold, I need more heat. Thanks for your good article.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image


      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      We keep our house at 67 degrees during the day and at 60 during the night. We have a big house, so we also heat the basement with a space heater as necessary. We are here all day so we never turn it down lower. However, when we go on vacation we generally put it on about 50 degrees.

    • Jeff Jackson profile image

      Jeff Jackson 

      8 years ago

      nice tips! very timely too. I was writing an article on bringing your electric bill down low yet overlooked to include heaters. I guess I will be doing some improvements on that one soon.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      Great advice Jennifer! My mom is a firm believer of keeping the heat low and clothes thick! I'll have to bookmark this and share it with her!

    • GracieLinda profile image


      8 years ago from Brandon, FL

      Great Hub. I live in FL and had record freezes for several days. I just had the attic re-blown and we were comfortable with little or no heat. And we are sun/water babies.

    • mr williams profile image

      mr williams 

      8 years ago from Norfolk, Virginia

      Great advice. Perfect timing to create this hub.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      Siny J 

      8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Very informative and useful


    • profile image

      oriental blossom 

      8 years ago

      Thanks jen, continue writing such helpful tips. I may as well suggest it to my sister living in nevada.

    • Hussains profile image


      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great advice at the right time. Thanks for sharing. I invite you to visit my hub pages.

    • tipperary profile image


      8 years ago

      Great advice, our oil system broke down over the xmas holidays just when it was snowing. We had to remain without it for two weeks but learned some valuable lessons on keeping warm. Now i realise there is no need to have the heating on as often. We dressed in warmer clothes, lit the open fire and became a lot more active, as we were not in the house as much.

      Great hub , will come back and read more!

    • Springboard profile image


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      It's so hard to stay warm in the winter, and you know, once you get cold to the core, getting warm is even tougher. So, that said, any advice and tips that can be had about how to get warm, and stay warm is always valuable. We'll be at 1 degree tomorrow and about 13 below so the timing is just right.

      Course, the wife and I do have an indoor hot tub, and that does feel great to get in—and does keep you pretty warm afterward. Snuggling is always welcome as well. :)

    • Nemingha profile image


      8 years ago

      According to my computer's clock it's now 12.33am and the air conditioner is still on. Shortly I will be taking myself off to bed and sleep with no covers, or maybe just a cotton sheet. Summertime in Australia is always notoriously hot but the heatwave conditions we are experiencing at the moment are making life even more uncomfortable than usual. What I wouldn't give for a good dose of cold air and the chance to snuggle up in front of a nice warm fire!

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 

      8 years ago

      Great hub Jennifer, good suggestions and advice. I'm with you for turning down the thermostat and throwing on a sweat shirt. Works for me.


    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Thank you for that, jennifer. After 20 years in a climate that never goes below 14 C (I don't know what that is in farenheit) I'll be moving to Britain soon and I'm dreading next winter. Your hub was a great help.

    • fishtiger58 profile image


      8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      We insulated the attic this past fall and it has made a huge difference up stairs. Great tips.

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      In most British houses every room has a door. Keep them closed. When you open the front door the rooms will stay warmer.

    • Melissasue24 profile image


      8 years ago from Tipperary Ireland

      I recently wrote an article on how to save money and make the best out of yur heating.

      In Ireland we wouldnt have particularly cold winters but as I am prone to lung infections I decided this year we would take some drastic precautions.

      The house is 100 years old, the attic isnt insulated and there single pane, wooden windows. I used a polyfiller to seal all the windows, used old leggings and stuffed them ith clothes to make draft excluders for under the doors.

      As its a rented property and the landlord refused to insulate the attic. I begged, friends, relivives and even strangers for donations of old quilts and duvets and laid them down in the attic.

      The result was a warm attic which benifited the entire house.

      Ireland had the coldest winter on record this year at minus 12 cel. I awas delighted to see our house was warmer than many of our friends houses.

      I think every little tip that I got helped. Pity I have only found this hub now.


    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Every precaution is necessary to fight cold but care must be taken just not to be sick. Thanks.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 

      8 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      We have a programmable thermostat, which is quite nice...then we don't have to forget about turning the furnace down while we are gone during the day. The days I am home, I have to turn it up, as I do not like being cold. When it is -25C outside, I shouldn't have to freeze inside. It still is not turned up very high...I usually have it at about 20C, and it goes down at night. I recommend getting a programmable usually pays for itself within the first month or so.

      Great Hub!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Good advice, Jennifer, and a big thank you.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Great advice. Frankly, I love it when my house is on the cool side. I can always add a sweater!


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