How to Stay Warm and Save Money This Winter

by Ryan Yates

How will you stay warm this winter?

Winter has arrived in Texas – I think.

No matter how frigid the winter months become in your neck of the woods, chances are high that you probably like to stay warm when the temperature begins to fall.

And what better way to add a little extra happiness this holiday season than to stay warm and save money at the same time?

It’s such a good feeling as you slip into your warm bed on a cold cold night.

Electric Blankets Work Wonders

My grandmother was always about ten degrees colder than everyone else in the house. Her solution? Crank up the heat and make everyone else sweat. Then we got her an electric blanket for Christmas, and the sauna problem was solved.

Electric blankets are a wonderfully efficient way to add extra warmth around the house – especially if you’re cold-natured. Plus, there’s just no sense in over-heating the whole house when a small and inexpensive electric blanket will do the trick. I wonder if they’ll ever invent an electric snuggie?

Close Off Unused Rooms

How do you live frugally and stay warm at the same time? By closing off air vents to the rooms in your house that go unused for hours at a time.

When you close off a vent, the air pressure increases to your other rooms. Therefore, if you’re running your central heating system, more hot air is pumped into the rooms that you are consistently using instead of being wasted in empty locations.

More heat where you need it translates into a decrease of wasted money.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Light

A common misconception is that a window without a curtain lets in too much cold air. Curtains might be able to muffle a drafty window, but what about well insulated windows without any leakage?

I say pull back the curtains and let the sun shine in. If your windows are well sealed, you’ll let more warmth in from the sun than cold from the glass (especially if you’re rocking double pane glass). Just remember to close the curtains when the sun moves to the other side of the house.

Bundle Up Indoors

The house we rented in college was old, drafty, and poorly heated. My solution was to bundle up, even while sleeping. I looked at it like camping indoors. It was 55 degrees in my room, but it was toasty under the covers.

You probably don’t have those extremes indoors, but adding on layers to your wardrobe will go a long way in keeping you warm and decreasing your heating costs.

Learn to Love the Rug

Hard wood floors have been gaining popularity for years. Can I get a shout out from my fellow “hand scraped” fans? The only problem with high priced bare floors is that they’re super cold in the winter.

Solution – add a few area rugs to keep your toes warm.

Update Your Thermostat

You’d be surprised just how inaccurate an old thermostat can be. Our house had a spring-style thermostat from the 1950s before we had it changed. Once the new device was installed, we were able to precisely set the temperature we wanted throughout the day.

Find the Drafts and Seal Them Up

There’s no point in heating your house if the hot air escapes under the door, through the window, or into the attic. Become a detective and locate where your hot air is leaking out and the cold air is coming in. Once you’ve found the spots, seal them up with towels, caulk, weather stripping, or whatever else necessary.

Photo By Otto Phokus


krantcents December 2, 2011 at

If everyone would follow your tips, they will be warm and save money.

Ryan Yates December 2, 2011 at

Ha . . . thanks for the ego boost. I think they’re pretty sound ideas myself.

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