It’s certainly sweater weather these days! If you spend multiple minutes in the morning bundling up in a coat, hat, scarf, gloves, socks, and boots, you aren’t alone. Those of us who live in cold climates know the lesson well: the more layers, the better! Those fuzzy, comforting layers are what get us through the winter months with a smile on our faces.
In order to stay warm indoors in the winter, it’s necessary to crank up the heat a bit in your home – which comes with increased heating costs and a greater environmental impact. It’s something we do out of necessity, but what if there was a way to lessen these costs while still feeling warm?
That’s where those layers come in – among many other unique techniques we use to stay warm and cozy indoors the whole winter through (without turning up the heat!). So how do we do it?
- Stay active. As you’re well aware, getting your heart pumping through exercise has many benefits, from increased longevity to weight loss to a healthier heart rate. But did you know it can actually warm you up for hours on end? Exercise naturally increases your core body temperature (which is why you get so sweaty!), and can keep you warm for hours afterwards. A simple sweat session or an hour of cleaning the house can do the trick.
- Pick warming décor. We’re huge fans of making our homes look beautiful and comfortable in any way we can. From throw pillows to gorgeous rugs, having a home you love is a wonderful feeling. Choosing warm tones to paint your walls can instantly make a room feel cozier. Choosing multiple textures in your décor – on the walls, blankets, pillows, and furniture – creates a layered look that brings instant warmth to any area. Choosing warm light (look for bulbs that say “warm, soft light” on the package) can also do the trick.
- Use sunlight. Before you leave in the morning, open up your (hopefully thick or thermal-lined) curtains. This will allow the natural sunlight to warm your home during the day when you’re not home. At night, close the curtains to insulate and keep that warmth indoors.
- Choose warming meals. A delicious, flavorful soup can truly do the trick with keeping you warm and toasty. Choose hot foods for dinner in the evening, or end your night with a hot cup of tea to warm your body from the insides out.
- Take advantage of heat in your kitchen and bathroom. When you take a shower, that hot water creates a lot of steam and hot air – which you can use to heat the surrounding area! Keep your bathroom door open as you shower to take advantage of that warmth and to let it spread. Same goes for the kitchen – heat up the oven (to bake dinner… or cookies!) and leave it open as it cools down to transfer the heat into the room.
- Stop drafts. Use draft stoppers (or door snakes) to keep hot air from escaping through the space between your door and the floor. Use plastic to cover up the drafts in your windows. Keep doors shut throughout your house to keep heat trapped in smaller spaces that you inhabit frequently. While it may take some time and effort, we promise – it’s worth it!
- Use a space heater (sparingly). Keep the heat in your house in the low 60’s, then use space heaters to heat the spaces you frequently use. For instance, turn on a space heater a few minutes before bed and shut the door. Enjoy the warmth while you’re awake, then turn it off before sleep to save energy, and let your body revel in the warmth of your bed covers!
There you have it – a few easy, free, eco-friendly ways to stay cozy and warm in your home this winter. What strategies do you use during the colder months to stay comfortable? Let us know in the comments below!