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

Responses: 50


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

Stay super warm

First make a tent. Then, get a shirt, and block the holes in the shirt. Put rice in it; then, heat it up, and take it in the tent with blankets and pillows!
—Guest Isabelle

Electric blanket

We have a programable thermostat, which goes down around 9:00p.m. We turn on our electric blanket about 30 minutes before we go to bed, then turn it down to about 2 when we get in. Bed is nice and toasty. The heat is programed to come up about 15 minutes before I get out of bed. House is warming by then.

Bake your meals & keep the kettle on!

My entire house warms up just from the humidity of keeping my tea kettle on low - the steam rising from the pot warms up the house, and in the late afternoon I warm up the house by baking our meals in the oven. The kitchen is in the center of the house and its turned out to be a good location. We've brought our heating bill to the lowest it's ever been in the winter - $18
—Guest ArmenianMama

Bedtime heat

I go for a ride on my bike before my evening meal. I am nice and warm when I get back. I have my dinner and immediately get ready for bed, changing in front of a gas fire and wearing a hat bedsocks & fleece pyjamas and an old fleece jacket. I allow myself half an hour heat in the morning to wash/dress & half an hour at night before bed (cost €32 for 110 hours).Then I get into my sleeping bag with my steel hot water bottle of tea for the morning. I have a fleece underblanket which is very good too.You can also use thick layers of newspaper under the under blankets to keep heat in. Blankets are more benefit under you than over you when it is cold.

Multi use hot water bottle

Before bed I make up a large steel bottle of black tea and bring it into bed with me. I tend to drink tea tepid or even cold, so when I wake in the morning, it is tepid from my body heat and becomes my breakfast tea. I learned to do this camping and find it still useful for saving on both water and energy use.

Keeping warm while going to sleep.

Get two good thick blankets or one thick blanket and wrap yourself in it and try to stay still, then its like a minature suana. Another way is go to a military surplus store and buy a wool blanket, the would usually cost about 10-15 bucks. Then just use that under or on top of your blanket.
—Guest Jeremy

Electric Mattress Pad

Buy a mattress heater; put it under the sheets of your bed; then, turn it on 15-30 minutes before bed.
—Guest Jim Bob


I don't see that anyone has put on here to use a hot water bottle! I use one all day everyday when I'm at home and not working! Its amazing, saves a fortune on the heating, along with 2 pairs of socks!
—Guest MsMazza

staying warm

We have old windows; we cover them with plastic; put thick towels along the bottoms of the doors to keep out drafts. We have a window unit that is 110 and it has air/heat. It has an energy-saver thermostat, so we keep it on the saver options; and when its warm inside it stays off
—Guest annie

Little things add up for comfort

I live in an old house with old single-pane windows. I had the utility company do an audit and they installed weather stripping and outlet insulators. They recommended upgrading to dual pane windows, but this is a rental. I put recycled bubble-wrap over the windows and it really helps to keep out the cold, yet lets in light during the day. I dress in layers, usually sweatpants, socks with slippers and a woolen knit cap, and I use lap blankets when I sit and read. The bed has flannel sheets and a down comforter, and if it's really cold at night, I'll wear a hoodie to bed to keep my head and neck warm. I draped a sheet over the box springs like a dust ruffle and put the dog's bed under my bed. He loves sleeping in his "den" and his body heat warms that small space well. If it's really cold, I put his fleece sweater on him to help him retain heat, as he's a short-haired house dog.
—Guest LizRich

warm hands

Microwave a couple of small potatoes and tuck them in your pocket before you go outside. They will warm your hands and your body. Just peel them and cook for breakfast after your walk or add them to you favorite soup.
—Guest Jean


Since we only have a wall furnace in our 1960's home in the winter months, we keep our archway to the kitchen covered with an attractive thermal curtain and also cover the hallway to the bedrooms. Keeping the heat in the living area only. EVENINGS - After turning on heater on for 15-20 minutes, I first change clothes and then shut it off. It stays warm long enough to feel very comfortable to read or watch TV snuggled in a sherpa blanket, covered over my head. Looks weird but it sure feels good! SLEEPING - I use flannel sheets and put an electric heating pad right where my feet go, making sure to cover that area with a heavy sherpa blanket or a thick pillow for 10 minutes before I climb in. I then pull the electric pad over my body for just a few minutes then shut it off and remove it. You really shouldn't sleep with it for safety reasons. I'm comfortable all night. MORNING - I grab my clothes and head for the bathroom to turn on the space heater long enough to get dressed.
—Guest Judith from Dublin, CA

Oil Lamps

During the blizzard of 1978, my grandparents lost their power for a week. Without power their furnace would not kick on. They used blankets and some scrap wood for a frame to construct a room within a room. An oil lamp within this construction kept them plenty warm for the entire period.
—Guest Mike Duffield

Lots of things you can do

Well, you can dress in many thick layers, and another really good thing is fill a sock up with cheap rice and heat it over the stove or in a microwave. You can reuse them over and over and you don't have to worry about falling asleep with them on. Drink lots of hot drinks, like soup or tea. Drinks usually warm me up more than food, so I drink a lot of hot tea. Use your pets! If you have a dog or cat, let them sleep on your bed. Their body heat is much cheaper than paying for heating oil. Socks and hats are both very important, in my opinion. Hats help you not lose as much heat, and you don't feel as cold when you have warm feet, do you? I, for one, am very rarely warm enough. Sometimes you just have to ignore the chill a little.
—Guest freezingallthetime

make the most of lingering heat

Have the family eat, watch tv, do homework, etc, all in the kitchen as the heat from the oven keeps it warm. More bodies in the room will keep you all warmer too. Add lots of spice to your meals, especially ginger and chillies. Have a hot drink just as you go to bed, I like hot pineapple juice or hot milk.

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