We have lived in the renovation without heat for 2 months now. And it hasn’t exactly been warm. I think this qualifies us as experts at staying warm with limited heat. So, I am sharing a few tips for staying warm without turning up the thermostat. This could lead to significant saving on your winter heating bills, or perhaps save your life should you find yourself without a source of heat through power outages or a fuel shortage.
The smaller the shelter, the easier it is to heat; the body heat of two adults will heat a small tent. If you are without heat in your home, confine your family to one small space. We (2 adults, 2 large dogs, and 2 kittens) are currently living in a 300 square foot screened porch that is covered in tarps and plastic. We stay comfortable with an ordinary electric space heater, appropriate winter clothing, and blankets.
Dress In Layers
It is winter for goodness sake; do not dress like it’s still summer. Put on a sweater or jacket instead of turning on/up the heat. It does not cost you anymore and it is much easier to take off a layer when you get too warm than it is to adjust the thermostat. My at home indoor outfit looks something like, wool base layer, sweatshirt, and if it is cold, a down jacket.
Get in the habit of removing your outdoor shoes immediately and putting on warm slippers – it will keep your house cleaner and your feet warmer. I change into shearling-lined boots at the backdoor. If it is exceptionally cold, I add wool socks.
Wear wool socks and long underwear. If you are still cold, add a hat.
Wear fingerless gloves they are wonderful. Full gloves and mittens are good too, but make operating the TV remote or your smart phone difficult.
When it is time to relax and read or watch TV, grab a couple of blankets and snuggle up.
Wrap yourself in a heavy bathrobe after the shower to keep your body temperature elevated until you get dressed.
Decorate for Warmth
Put flannel sheets on your bed, rugs on your floors, insulated curtains over your windows, and warm blankets on your sofa. If you have a drafty home, use draft socks in and around windows and doors. When it is cold outside, nothing says money in the bank like a house that is blinged out in warm accessories.
Your bed is often the warmest place in the house. Make it even warmer with old-fashioned heavy quilts and lots of them, or an extra-warm feather comforter. I fill a Nalgene bottle with just shy of boiling water and take it to bed with me, keeps my feet warm all night.
Sip a Warm Drink
Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or soup; warm-up from the inside.
You are coldest when you sit still. Get up and do some housework. Get the blood pumping and your body temperature up a bit. You don’t have to break a sweat… just a little bit of moving around will instantly make you warmer.
Bake at Night
Do your baking in the early evening before you settle on the couch. The oven warms up the house while things bake. Leave the oven door open after the baking is done to take advantage of the residual heat.
And lastly, Don’t Sleep Alone
Whether it is your partner, your dog(s), or cat(s) sleeping with another mammal is infinitely better than sleeping alone, especially if you are trying to stay warm.