Keeping your home- and more importantly the people inside it- warm in the winter doesn't have to mean cranking up the thermostat and sending your heating bill through the roof. To keep warm even on cold winter days, try a few of these suggestions:
1. Use weather stripping around the doors and windows.
A roll of weather stripping costs only a few dollars at the hardware store or discount store, and keeping those cold drafts out will help make your family more comfortable while saving money on heating.
2. Hang heavy curtains or thick Roman shades.
This is a more expensive and ambitious project, but it will pay off in the long run. Well-insulated windows will make a big difference in how well your home retains heat.
3. Close off unused portions of the house.
When you don't have guests, close the heat vent in the guest bedroom and shut the door. Storage areas don't need to be heated either. If you heat only the rooms you use on a regular basis, then your heater will be able to heat those rooms thoroughly without being overworked.
4. Bake, boil, and fry your way to a warm evening.
Winter is a good time to do some real cooking! The energy you supply to cook your food using the stove and oven will also help heat your house.
5. Use the fireplace.
Whether gas or wood burning, a fireplace in use gives a room a warmth that is both physical and psychological. Another advantage of a fireplace is it heats the room you are using rather than the whole house.
6. Invest in a small space heater.
A space heater can help make a room comfortable and is especially nice for single people or couples living in relatively large homes.
7. Seal any outdoor cracks or gaps in your home with insulating foam.
Doing this will not only help keep your home warm in the winter; it will help keep your home insect free and prevent water damage as well.
8. Use an attic fan.
An attic fan can improve the heating efficiency of your home by blowing warm air back down where it can do some good. If you don't have an attic fan, a ceiling fan can help somewhat.
9. Use a draft stopper.
You may have seen a colorful fabric cat or dog placed at the bottom of a door in your grandmother's house. The item in question was not a misplaced children's toy, but rather a draft stopper intended to keep cold air from flowing under the door. You can make your own draft stopper easily; they don't really need to look like animals unless you want them to. To sew a draft stopper, use a tightly woven fabric and make a sack the length of the door and wide enough to cover the gap between the door and the floor. Stuff it with sand, or a mixture of sand and pillow stuffing. The sand will help make the draft stopper heavy and keep it in place.