Winter is here, and if you’re like millions of Americans, you wish you were just a little warmer. You might live in a nice house with a central furnace that blows hot air consistently, but without the right setup, it may be hard to stay as warm as you like.
For example, you might be reluctant to crank up the heater for fear of increasing your utility bills. You might live with family members who prefer things a little cooler (and lose the argument to turn up the heat). You might also suffer from a house that has poor insulation or cracks that let the cold seep in.
Whatever the case, there are some tips that can help you stay warmer this winter.
Invest in a Fireplace
One of your best options is to invest in a fireplace. These days, fireplaces are easy to install—and they come in many varieties, so if you’re not interested in a traditional wood burning fireplace, you could install a gas or electric fireplace instead. No matter what, your fireplace will make it much warmer in your main room of choice (usually a living room) and will make it more attractive as well. In fact, adding a fireplace can even increase the value of your home. Just make sure you’ve reviewed the laws in your city, and you hire professional installers to ensure your safety.
Invest in a Space Heater
You may also invest in a space heater. If you’re concerned about the utility bills, or if you frequently disagree about the optimal temperature throughout the house, a space heater can be a great compromise. It’s not going to heat the entire house, but it can be highly effective at increasing the temperature in a specific room or area of the house. Plug it in, let it run, and you’ll instantly feel warmer wherever you are.
Inspect Your Doors and Windows for Cracks
One of the biggest sources of heat loss in winter are air leaks—opportunities for the warm air in your home to escape to the outside, thus making your home feel much cooler. This not only makes it feel cooler inside—but it also disproportionately increases your utility bills.
You can fight against this by inspecting problem areas (usually doors and windows) for cracks. If you find any air coming in or going out, you can seal these cracks easily with a bit of caulk. Of course, if your windows are especially old, they’ll probably leak heat no matter what; at some point, you’ll want to upgrade to more energy efficient installations.
Try Blown Insulation
If your home is poorly insulated, it’s going to be much more difficult to heat in the winter. Unfortunately, it can be a pain to tear your walls down and reinsulate everything from scratch. That’s where blown insulation comes into play; this type of insulation can literally be “blown” into walls with a single small hole. Even if you’re not a professional installer, you can likely learn the basics and handle this DIY project yourself. Once complete, your better-insulated home will be much easier to get warm and keep warm.
Utilize Ceiling Fans
It may seem like ceiling fans are only useful during the summer, when they can circulate air to keep your home cool. But they can also be used to distribute warm air throughout your house—especially if you reverse the direction of their rotation where appropriate. If you find that some of your home is getting and staying warm, but you’re losing heat in other rooms, ceiling fans can help you balance things out.
Stay in Warmer Rooms
Here’s a somewhat obvious tip—stay in warmer rooms. Even in perfectly efficient homes, some rooms are going to be warmer than others due to insulation, the presence of windows, the presence of heating vents, fireplaces, and space heaters, as well as other factors. If you have the option, gravitate toward spending time in warmer areas.
If All Else Fails, Bundle Up
If you’ve tried some of the options on this list and you’re still stuck feeling colder than you’d like, you can always bundle up. Invest in layers of clothing that are both comfortable and warm, and don’t be shy about breaking them out. You may also consider buying an electric blanket, which can keep you warm on even the coldest days.
Staying warm in winter may require a home upgrade or two, and it may mean making compromises with your family members or roommates. But with just a few steps, you can create a cozier, warmer environment in which to live and thrive. Follow these tips if you want to keep your home environment nice and toasty this winter.