Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to keep warm in a cold house.

When you live in an old rickety house with poor insulation, it can be really really hard to get warm.  Hopefully these tips can help you out.....

Tips for Getting Toasty...

1. Use space heaters!!!  These little guys pack a lot of punch.  They seriously work really really well. You have to make sure to close your room off to keep the heat in.  Camp out in the warmest room!  And these things suck up a ton of electricity, so.....don't use one in each room in the same area of your home or you might trip the switch and find yourself out in the cold with a flashlight searching for the right switches in the circuit breaker.  Not fun.  This has happened to us a few times.  It also happens if you have one heater on, plus TV, dvd, phone & laptop plugged in, and the lights on.  Just sayin.
2. Light candles.  It really works.  Sure it's a small amount, but it's still fire.  You'd really be amazed at the amount of heat that candles can generate.  The great smell and glow they create is so warm!
3. Cuddle up to your favorite furry friend.  Dogs & cats are the coziest!!!
4. Layer.  Don't be ashamed to wear long johns, fuzzy socks under slippers, sweats, scarves & hats....gloves?
5. Bake.  Turn that oven on.  It will heat up your kitchen.  Make some warm comfort food.  Mmmmm.
6. Consume hot beverages.  Tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are so amazing when it comes to warming up!  Just holding a warm steamy mug makes you feel taken care of.  Hot soup and bread are also really great in a freezing house.
7. Dry your hair!  I always think I'm going to heat up in the shower (since I like mine scorching hot), but it never ever works.  Because even in the steamiest shower, you are still naked (and wet!) in an ice cold bathroom.  Plugging in a space heater helps a lot (be extra careful with your appliances around water!).  Just make sure every inch of you is bone dry before you step out of the bathroom.  You have to get into the habit also of closing yourself in and creating little pods of warmth when you're in a cold house, so remember to keep your bathroom door shut when showering or it will ruin the whole thing.  If you have someone in your house that loves you a lot, you might be able to convince them to throw your towel into the dryer, and bring you a hot towel (and maybe even hot clothes too!).  If using lotion, consider switching to that kind you can use in the shower, or an oil (they don't feel cold), or at least warm up your lotion a little in your hands before slapping it on, because lotion can make you cold all over again.  Layer up, and lock in that heat by getting under a blanket stat.
8. Watch a movie.  Turning on the tele will generate a lot of heat.  So will a laptop sitting on your lap.What a nice excuse to cuddle up with a hot drink and watch a movie in bed?!  It's survival.
9.  This sounds ridiculous, but go outside for a while.  Take your dog on a walk, or shovel snow.  When you come back in, your house won't seem that cold after all. It will actually feel quite cozy!
10.  Tack up blankets to your windows.  It looks ugly, but hey, it works.  Check your insulation.  Sometimes old houses are really poorly insulated.  If you have the money, spend a little time repairing the cracks, and replacing old windows & doors.
11.  Call the repair guy.  It might be an easy fix.  Honestly, you might just need to change your furnace filter.
12.  Close off rooms you aren't using regularly.  The guest bedroom doesn't need to be heated.  Shut off the vent and close the door.  Remember, every time you open it you will lose the precious heat you've been working so hard at keeping.
13.  Get an electric blanket.  Or at least make your bed as comfy as possible.  Flannel sheets, a down comforter, and a heavy quilt will work wonders.
14.  Stop watching movies about snow!  They say if you look at something warm, you will actually start to feel warm.  It sounds dumb, but sometimes we can trick our minds into thinking differently.  Watch a desert or a surf  movie.  Look at summer vacation photos on your laptop, thankful you aren't sweating buckets in a swampy jungle!!!

...I hope these tips can help.  Tell me, what are your tricks for staying warm??


Jamie said...

I am so glad to see you put "Candles" on here!! I regularly light candles all around my apartment to keep it warm, everyone thought I was nuts when I told them this!! I live in a studio apartment on the 3rd floor of a house built in the 20s. Horrible insulation but luckily my place is tiny enough that only a few candles do the trick!

Elis said...

We lived in a 150 year old farm house (with old-fashioned, unreliable heating) when I was a little girl, and I remember doing all kinds of crazy things to keep warm! Our house now is just over 100 years old & has a modern furnace, but it is kind of drafty and it still has the original windows (which let out a lot of warmth and cool air in the summer). We live in the renovated attic/loft, and it gets super cold up here since there are no heating/cooling vents. We have definitely employed a lot of your ideas--especially the warm drinks and layering clothing (which is what I'm doing in my profile picture--holding a cup of coffee while wearing a thermal union suit and fuzzy hat!). We also keep an old comforter around for using on the couch when we are watching TV and stuff. It's really nice to cuddle up under it and get warm. :) The bathroom is one of the warmest rooms in our house, so I like to roll up a towel and tuck it into the space under the door to try to trap even more warmth in there. When my hands get super cold, I like to run them under warm water at the faucet. As long as I let them dry all the way before going back upstairs, it really helps to heat them up in a hurry. :)