Staying warm in the winter on a budget may seem difficult this year. Rising energy prices mean US heating bills could soar by 30% over the coming months compared to last year! Add that to the expensive nature of the holiday season and many families around the country may feel the pinch.
Ready for the good news?
There are plenty of ways to stay warm in winter without blowing the budget! Keep reading to discover 12 of the very best.
1. Seal Any Holes You Have
With a chill in the air and the wind roaring outside, the last thing you want is to have dozens of gaps around your windows and doors. Those pesky holes let the warm air right out and welcome the cold on in!
Scout around your house for any gaps of this nature and use caulking to fill them in. Alternatively, you’ll find affordable draft stoppers online that are purpose-built to solve this problem.
2. Leverage Layers
We see it all the time. Someone complains about feeling cold and so, understandably, decides to turn the heating up in the house. Yet they’re also wearing nothing but a thin t-shirt and a pair of shorts!
Don’t be that person this winter.
If you’re on a budget, then one of the best ways to stay warm is by layering up. With multiple t-shirts, sweaters, and coats on, you’re guaranteed to stay nice and snug. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the local thrift store if you want extra cold-weather clothing at bargain prices.
3. Protect Your Head and Feet
Of all the parts of your body to wrap up warm this winter, pay special attention to your head and feet! Why? Because you lose warmth from both body parts quicker than almost any other.
To tackle the issue “head-on”, we highly suggest investing in a quality pair of woolly socks, some slippers, and a beanie hat to wear around the house. You might feel silly having a hat on indoors, but you’ll be grateful for it when the utility bill comes!
Did you know that the location of your furniture impacts how warm/cold you feel in each room? For instance, maybe your sofa’s pressed against the wall, your desk’s beneath a window, and your bed’s in front of an air vent. Each of these locations could be making you and the room colder than necessary.
After all, walls and windows are notoriously chilly because they’re the closest to the outdoors! Covering an air vent stops warm air from circulating properly. So, do yourself a favor this winter by moving your furnishings into the center of each room and away from your vents/heaters!
5. Insulate Your Windows
Poorly-insulated windows are a primary culprit for letting the cold in during winter. Unfortunately, replacing your current ones with double or triple-glazed alternatives isn’t cheap!
Thankfully, though, you don’t have to. For a budget-friendly option that serves a similar purpose, try purchasing some insulating clear film to apply to your windows. Part of a window insulation kit, this clever film keeps the heat in and blocks the cold out, while still letting in the light.
6. Fit Drapes, Curtains, or Blinds
Want another window-related solution for staying warm in winter?
Never leave them bare!
Installing heavy curtains, drapes, or blinds will provide a barrier that prevents heat inside your home from escaping as easily. The only downside is that drawing them during the day will block out the light as well.
7. Switch Off Bathroom Vents
Remember how gaps in your property let the cold air in quicker than you can say “brrr”? Well, your bathroom exhaust vent can cause trouble for similar reasons.
It’s literally a hole in your wall that leads to the outside world! Having it turned on will suck the heat out of the room along with the steam. Save energy by only turning it on when necessary (open the door instead!) and always flicking it off when you’re done.
Top tip: Timer switches will make your life much simpler here. Installing them in your bathroom to control your vent will make sure it’s never left running by accident.
8. Close Your Chimney
Open fireplaces are amazing additions to any home in winter. You can snuggle around a fire on cold, dark evenings, watching the flames flicker and snuggling down in front of the warmth!
Alas, they can backfire during the daytime, letting heat escape up the chimney. Whenever you aren’t using it, then, remember to close its flue and draft. You could even block the entire chimney with a special fireplace insert insulation if you don’t plan on using it at all.
9. Leave the Oven Open
Kitchens are often the warmest part of the house in winter. After all, with all the delicious baking and cooking going on throughout the holiday season, heat from the oven fills the room, combatting the cold to great effect. Want our advice?
Don’t waste that incredible warmth! Leaving the oven door open slightly after you’ve finished baking or roasting turns it into a makeshift radiator.
10. Buy Lots of Blankets
Warm blankets are an absolute godsend in the winter- particularly when you can’t afford to go overboard with the central heating. Get your hands on as many of them as possible! On long winter afternoons and evenings, you’ll be able to snuggle up beneath one (or two, or three…) and stay warm despite the cold outside.
Don’t forget to put one on top of your duvet at night to add another layer of warmth when you’re in bed too! This may make it possible to keep the heating turned off at night, significantly reducing your energy bills in the process.
11. Improve Your Attic’s Insulation
Because heat rises, your attic can make or break your ability to heat the house efficiently. Making sure it’s well-insulated this winter will help prevent the heat from escaping and keep your utility payments down as a result.
Of course, purchasing attic insulation (and possibly paying someone to install it) costs money upfront. Yet you can definitely treat it as an investment. Trust us, you’ll soon get your money back from the ensuing energy savings.
12. Insulate Your Floors
Anybody with bare floorboards knows all too well how the cold can radiate up into the house from the frigid earth below! This is another issue that applies to almost every home, though, regardless of specific flooring (unless they have underfloor heating!). It’s especially bad in older properties and those without a basement.
The remedy? Insulating your floors! Laying down thick rugs and warm carpets will help to keep the cold down where it belongs.
Staying Warm in this Winter on a Budget
Winter might be around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you have to blow the budget just to stay warm! As we’ve seen, there are plenty of clever ways to keep your home feeling toasty without spending all of your hard-earned money on heating.
Why not give them a go today? Whether you try a handful of them or every last one on the list, you’re guaranteed to reap the rewards.
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