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Readers Respond: How do you stay warm without turning up the heat?

Responses: 72


I shared my list of ways to stay warm without turning up the heat now I want to hear your best stay-warm tips. Share a Tip

keeping warm.

Burn candles, I heat my slippers up with a plow drier. Warm a blanket in the dryer lay it on the bed and warms up the bed.
—Guest nelliebrown

Coat/cat foot warmer

My outer wear coat is long down. I place it across the foot of my bed, then put a flannel sheet over it. The cats love this. They get a warm bed and they keep my feet toasty.
—Guest JudyS

heat with wood!

We heat with an Amish Cook Stove. It heats, you can cook on it and it also heats water in the winter. Power outages are no big deal in the winter.

Cheap ways to keep warm

A wood/ multi fuel burner is cheaper and more effective at keeping heat in, no loss as in an open fire.Can also heat water for constant hot drinks, or put pan of soup to heat up or slow cook on top of woodburner. Turn it down to lowest air intake, will simmer all night keeping room warm, and will flare up when air vent is fully opened, and new log is put in. Just keep this one room warm. Put central heating and hot water on for 1 hour, only in morning just to warm bathroom for shower . Heat bed with hot water bottle, wear warm pyjamas, old cardigan on top, socks. keep flask of hot drink, chocolate or milk nearby, or soup (instead of cooking meat,) use soaked dried beans/ lentil's mixed with mixed veg, stock cubes, makes a large cheap soup.one Stay in bed for one day a week,read write knit, listen / watch tv.
—Guest yvonne mustapha

No alcohol

Don't drink vodka to warm up. It gives the illusion of warmth, but it also prevents your body from doing what it needs to do to keep you warm (such as constricting blood vessels to get them away from the surface and prevent heat loss, etc), and so it actually causes your core temperature to go down compared to someone identically dressed in the same environment. :)
—Guest Misty


sweater, hot cocoa, and a fire! perfect for almost anything!
—Guest banana_minion!

Heat what you need

During the day we use wood heat...it's more economical - lots of people give away free wood if you haul it. Also, at night we let the fire go out and heat only the bedrooms during the night with electric heat. Of course dress for colder weather - put on more clothes & layer! Also, if you take a brisk walk outdoors it will improve your circulation, which will help you stay warm. Get acclimated to colder weather by turning down your heat a bit.
—Guest Carrol Green


Wear extra clothing - and also learn to 'live cold' a bit during winter, like all our forebears have done for millenia, and not worry too much about it. Lovely when you go outside in the sun, instead of 'brrrrrgh'!
—Guest Janine Mudaliar

Alter your Decor!

I use many of the suggestions above, esp. wearing a hat and long underwear, esp. lots of wool--it's the warmest! Silk and fleece are also great. Wool socks and leggings will actually keep you warmer than a coat. If you like dresses, just get some wool cycling tights to wear underneath. Also, shutting unused rooms (block heat vents if possible) works well. Move to the warmest part of your house (usually the South side) and have most activities there. Let sun in during day. A time-honored way to stay warm at night is with curtains round your bed. You don't need a canopy bed--just hang poles from the ceiling (use proper fasteners for weight) and make or buy nice fabric curtains that pull closed. If you have exposed beams, just nail them up--the old-timers used to use quilts! *CAUTION: Never use a space heater inside! It seems obvious but many people do it. Take the opportunity to bake. Throw a whole chicken in the oven, with potatoes, & fave veggies and you get a meal and stay warm.

Staying warm

At T.J. Maxx, I purchased a long high necked WOOL sweater. I wear it all winter over a sweatshirt and keep my themostat during the day at 66 degrees. I also purchased something called "solar curtains" which WORK. Turn them one side for summer to block out heat (they WORK) and flip them over for winter to enhance the sun's rays. Get them at places like Carol Write gifts or Dr. Leonards. At night I use an electric blanket, flannel jammies and a down blanket. I keep the thermostat at 64 degrees at night, I have a 1600 square foot house, use natural gas heat and hot water and only paid about $520 total for gas last year.!
—Guest Cassandra

Feet bath

Just boil the kettle and get a bucket out pour the hot kettle water in the bucket with a little bit of cold water and after your feet are warm you will be warm.
—Guest Aleaha

Several tips

For some years now, we try to turn the heating system on as late as possible. It became a habit and also a competition between me and some friends online: Who is the last to turn on the heating system? Do not heat for the way you dress, dress for the season. One downside; you are feeling hot in that overheated office you work in or at other people's houses. Everyone got so used to a warm climate indoors all year round. Also I use the sun for free heating. The blinds are completely open in the living room in the morning and early afternoon. The sun heats the room for free. At night, a curtain covers the windows and keeps the heat in. Google "Ceramic pot candle heater". In the Netherlands we frugals now something called a "livingblanket". Very easy to make with an (old) blanket and some velcro. You can wear it at night when it gets colder (Watch the video on this page, it is easy to make http://www.genoeg.nl/handig/zelf-doen/woonmantel)
—Guest Moneypenny

Burn some calories!

If you don't have any wood to chop, maybe you can take to the stairs instead of the elevator. 15 minutes of walking or even sex will keep you warm a long time. Just don't sit by the computer all day!
—Guest ToreGT

Staying warm

If your feet are feeling cold, put on a hat or a hoodie.
—Guest RichardB3

hot water bottle

Totally agree with MsMazza - hot water bottle does the job, Get lots of them! Use them all day. I even take one on the train every day when I am commuting. Wondering what goes through people`s minds when I put my hands in my handbag though :)
—Guest klaatu

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