10 Ways to Keep You and Your Family Warm This Winter

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bench

For much of the country, we are experiencing the worst winter in more than 20 years. With temperatures plunging and heating bills increasing how do we make it through without emptying the bank?

First, we can decide to make adjustments to our normal energy hungry lifestyle. We can opt to turn down the thermostat, use less, oil, electric and gas heat. We can switch to wood heat where possible. We can embrace other ways to keep warm besides cranking up the heat.

It can be done!

1. Wear layers of clothing. Your body creates heat and wearing layers contains this free source of heat. Did you know polyester underwear and long underwear is considered by survivalists to be the superior fabric of choice for undies? The reason is it wicks away moisture. Both cotton and wool hold moisture in which can lead to hypothermia.

Polar fleece is a great source for polyester clothing. Choose a variety of polar fleece articles like hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, vests, jackets, pants, pullovers, socks and bathrobes. If you are really cold, wear a warm hat as most heat escapes from your head and the brain gets the cold message immediately.

2. Throws and lap blankets. Have a variety of blankets and throws available on sofas and chairs. If you feel chilled pull one on and snuggle up with that special someone or a beloved pet. My Springer Spaniel is a great foot warmer. Have a variety of blanket weights for different temperatures – wool, down, cotton and polar fleece throws and again polar fleece wins the contest for being the warmest.

3. Cover furniture with polar fleece. (Sounds like I am doing a commercial for polar fleece but I am not) Covering furniture with polar fleece is often used to keep it clean from pets, but the result is a very warm seat. Select high quality polar fleece for maximum warmth and wear ability.

4. Socks and Slippers. I am huge fan of socks and hate to have cold feet. There is a difference in the warmth of my body when I wear socks so I always have a pair on in the winter months. Coupled with a great pair of warm slippers that come above the ankle you will not feel drafts that creep around the floor. Since hot air rises, feet are subject to this cold air.

5. Down Comforters. For years I would not even consider a down comforter for my bed. Since most birds fly south for the winter why would down be warm? Silly me. Years ago when I traveled to New England I had the opportunity to sleep under a down comforter. This “blanket” was very toasty and held in my own body heat. I was hooked. When I got home I searched for a similar comforter and bought one for every bed. We still use them today – in warm weather and cold.

6. Use Door Draft Stoppers. Door draft stoppers or guards are filled tubes that keep cold air from creeping under doors. They can be purchased new or made easily by filling a tube sock or tube of fabric with rice, beans, sand or stuffing. They look a bit like a snake and really do the trick. If you have a dog like mine that likes to pull the innards out of stuffed animals don’t make yours with stuffing!

7. Close Doors. Keep the doors closed to rooms that do not need to be heated. Just heat the areas that you sit in during the day.

8. Do leave the Bathroom Door Open. Showers and baths create lots of heat but more importantly humidity. In the winter the house dries out and the moisture from the bathroom can help tremendously. Now I understand in some family‚Äôs privacy is important. Just leave the door open after showering and don’t use the fan.

9. Do Leave the Oven Door Open. Leave the oven door open after cooking and turning off the oven. Let that heat escape to warm the kitchen.

10. Do Open the Dishwasher. When Washing Cycle is Finished. Once the dishes are washed open the door and let the dishes air dry. This will let the heat escape, allow the moisture to escape to humidify the house and save a bundle on electricity over a period of time.

Hopefully one or more of these suggestions will help you stay snuggie warm in the cold months. If all else fails go to the animal shelter and get a dog, they love to snuggle under blankets and curl up and sit in your lap. They are great substitutes for the old fashioned hot water bottles. Your other alternative is to go to bed early with a good book and under that down comforter.

Creative Commons License photo credit: MissTessmacher



One Response to “10 Ways to Keep You and Your Family Warm This Winter”

  1. Christina says:

    Thank you for the helpful tips!! I love your blog!

Leave a Reply