Edit: We spent most of last winter, in a tent. Okay, not a tent, per se but, a screened porch with tarps is pretty close. We moved into the renovation in January, it was better, but wihout insulateion, the average temp inside was about 45, even with the wood stove cranking. I feel this qualifies us as experts in keeping warm without adjusting the thermostat.
It is warmer this year now that we have HVAC, some drywall, and a wood stove, but no insulation. We keep the thermostat at 61 during the day and 55 at night.
I am sharing a few tips for staying warm without turning up the thermostat. This could lead to significant savings on your winter heating bills.
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. In the days before central air, families sat around the fire until bed time, then got under the blankets. If possible, warm just the main rooms during the day, then turn the thermostat down for night.
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 (top and bottom), a sweatshirt or sweater, wool leg warmers, and sometimes fingerless gloves. The beauty of wool is that it will keep you warm even when wet.
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.
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.
Your bed is often the warmest place in the house. Make it even warmer with blankets. The old felted wool blankets and down comforters really keep the heat in. Pile them on. The Company Store in LaCrosse, WI makes amazing down comfortors and they have a factory store in LaCrosse that ships for a flat fee of $10.
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.