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17 Hacks to Stay Warm at Home Without Breaking the Bank

Winter is right around the corner, and that means many of us will be turning up the heat in our homes.

With more heat comes higher energy bills. 

Luckily, there are many things you can do to prep your home for winter and help your family stay warm for less.

1. Insulate windows with plastic

Leaky windows can be a big culprit of high energy bills. That’s because when windows are letting in air, your HVAC system has to work a lot harder keep your home warm.

An affordable way to prevent leaky windows is to insulate with plastic film.

You can purchase a window insulation kit online or at your local hardware store. 

You’ll want to measure your windows prior to purchasing a kit so that you order the correct size.

2. Hang blankets or thick winter curtains over windows

For windows that are the coldest in your home, a frugal way to help with insulation is to hang floor-to-ceiling blankets or curtains over them. Blankets act as a barrier against cold drafts and can improve heat retention in your home.

3. Use door draft stoppers

If you notice that cold air is getting in through any of your doors leading to the outside, then investing in some door draft stoppers may be just the thing you need.

A door draft stopper will help block cold air from entering at the base of your doors. They can even block light and bugs from getting into your home.

4. Set your ceiling fans to clockwise

This is one of the most simple, frugal heating tips. Changing the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise will help distribute the warm air from the ceiling.

Here’s a video with a tutorial on how to do this.

5. Layers, layers, layers

Before turning up the heat, make sure you are wearing plenty of clothing – especially over your hands, feet, and head.

This will help ensure that you are not losing too much body heat.

Here are some great examples of clothing layers you can invest in to keep you warm:

  • Long johns
  • Wool socks
  • Slippers
  • Sweat pants
  • Blanket hoodies
  • Beenie hats

6. Place area rugs on tile and hardwood floors

If your home has flooring other than carpet, a good rug can make all the difference. 

Rugs act as insulation and will help to keep the area warmer and more comfortable.

7. Open your curtains when the sun is out

This will help to warm up your home just a bit (for free!!)

8. Keep your heat as low as you can tolerate

This one might be obvious for some, but it is always good to have a reminder.

Turning up your heat will raise your electric bill faster than any of the tools we suggest using in this blog post.

9. Utilize electric heating pads for lounging

Using heating pads is a very inexpensive way to stay warm because they cost so little in comparison to raising the heat.

If you run your heater 1 degree warmer over the course of a month, it will raise your heating bill by 3%. 

Heating pads will cost a fraction of that to use – generally cents to run per hour (depending on where you live.) 

10. Plug in that space heater

Using a space heater – like the heating pad – is much cheaper than turning up the heat.

11. The good 'ol sock with rice heating pad

If you don’t have an electric heating pad and quite frankly don’t want to purchase one, then this DIY may be perfect for you!

All you need is a cotton sock and enough rice to fill it up.

Once you’ve added the rice to your sock, tie it off and put it in the microwave for around a minute.

You’ll have a budget-friendly heating pad that will stay warm for awhile.

Make sure the sock is 100% cotton so that it can go in the microwave safely.

12. Leave the oven door open after baking

This is one of my favorites! Use the oven more often to make warming foods and leave the oven door open (after it is turned off) to help heat your home. 

ALWAYS turn off the oven before leaving the door open. 

Please keep in mind that if you have young kids, pets, or electronics near/above your oven, then you may want to pass on this frugal tip. 

13. Have something warm to eat or drink close by

Don’t underestimate the power of a good, warm drink! Some hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate can really help to warm you up. 

14. Cuddle with your fur babies

15. Place a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed

Hot water bottles are perfect for warming up your bed before sleep.

Place the hot water bottle under your bed sheets 10 – 15 minutes before retiring. It will help keep you warm all night.

16. Turn on an electric blanket before bed to warm the covers

If the hot water bottle just isn’t doing it for you, another option is an electric blanket.

These are great for lounging and also perfect to heat your bed covers prior to sleeping.

17. Change your air filter

When was the last time you changed your air filter? 

Old air filters will become dirty and potentially block warm air from filling rooms in your home.

We recommend checking your filter every 3 months to see if it needs to be changed.

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