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How do you stay warm?

Last post 06-23-2011 10:47 PM by Winterlighthomestead. 150 replies.
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  • 10-24-2008 10:41 AM

    How do you stay warm?

    I had hoped that with our new insulation, we'd be able to avoid firing up the heating system this year until Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, with the outside temperatures dropping below freezing at night, I invariably wake up to a 60-degree house and spend most of the day shivering in four layers of clothing. After we cook dinner, the temperature may get up to around 68 or 69, but overnight it drops back down again.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to keep warm during the day without switching on the heat? I'm already wearing my warmest clothes (including long undies and a hat); I've opened up the window blinds to let in the sunlight during the day, and closed them again to help keep the heat in at night; and I sip on hot coffee or cocoa to try and keep warm. If the weather gets any colder I may take to drink! (Yes, I know that alcohol actually makes you lose body heat faster, but at least you feel warmer, and I'm not in any danger of actually freezing to death.)

    My sister-in-law and her family, who live up in the icy wilderness of Michigan, only heat their house to 58 degrees in the wintertime--brrrrrrr! I don't know how they do it.
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • 10-24-2008 10:51 AM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,458

    Re: How do you stay warm?

     It may feel silly, but wear a hat. We lose a lot of body heat through our heads, so keeping them covered will help keep us warm. Also, try to keep the humidity running around 40 - 50%. Air feels colder when it's dry.

    You might find some tips you hadn't thought of here: Saving on Your Heating Bill

     

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  • 10-24-2008 11:02 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    Do you have any draft dodgers you can put around your exterior doors? If not, try rolling up towels to put at the bottom of the doors to help keep cold drafts out.

    Do you have a space heater you could use to just heat up the room you're in? (Close off the doors to the empty rooms.)

    Ginger tea has a way of making you feel warmer. You can find it in the herbal tea section, or in the health food section of your local grocery store. I swear by ginger tea! Whenever I drink a cup, I'm peeling off my sweatshirt because I get so warm.

    Like Pat mentioned, humid air holds more heat than dry air. If you don't have an actual humidifier, keep a pot of water simmering on your stove.

    Sometimes, when I get really chilly, I'll snuggle up to a heating pad.

    Stay warm!

    Stacie

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • 10-24-2008 11:03 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    Pat:

     It may feel silly, but wear a hat. We lose a lot of body heat through our heads, so keeping them covered will help keep us warm. Also, try to keep the humidity running around 40 - 50%. Air feels colder when it's dry.

    You might find some tips you hadn't thought of here: Saving on Your Heating Bill

     

    Already got the hat covered (or I guess I should say, I've got the head covered). I habitually wear a hat indoors all winter long. I had a look at the article you mentioned, but it didn't seem to include any tips I hadn't already tried. I suppose it might be possible to seal our doors and windows a bit better, but I'm not sure how much it would help.

    How do you measure the humidity in your home? We have a dehumidifier in the basement with a humidistat on it, but of course we don't want to remove humidity, we want to add it (possibly). Short of buying a humidifier, do you know any way to do this? I help as much as I can by taking long hot showers.... :-)
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • 10-24-2008 11:17 AM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,458

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    haverwench:

    How do you measure the humidity in your home?
     

    You can buy hygrometers of various types. Some thermostats come with them, but you can buy stand alone, hand held ones, starting around $20 I think, but they may be less. Check at a hardware store. You might be able to borrow one if you just want a one time reading. I don't know where you live, but if you have a dehumidifier, maybe you live in a place that's already humid? If there's too much moisture in the air (80% and up) it can feel colder. Damp and cold is miserable. If your dehumidifier is overdoing it, can you adjust it or turn it off? 

    If you find you need to add humidity, there are several ways. First, you can simmer water (stew, simmering potpourri, or whatever). Secondly, houseplants help humidify the air because they expire moisture along with oxygen. Thirdly, showers, washing dishes by hand, any activity connected with warm water will put moisture in the air.  

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  • 10-24-2008 11:28 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    Pat:
    I don't know where you live, but if you have a dehumidifier, maybe you live in a place that's already humid? If there's too much moisture in the air (80% and up) it can feel colder. Damp and cold is miserable. If your dehumidifier is overdoing it, can you adjust it or turn it off? 

    The dehumidifier is not turned on at present. We bought it to help suck the moisture out of the basement because we were having mildew problems, but since the cold weather set in, moisture in the basement has not been much of a problem. I just switched it on to check, and the basement is currently at 55% humidity. The upstairs might be lower.
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • 10-24-2008 11:38 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    slk2042:

    Do you have any draft dodgers you can put around your exterior doors? If not, try rolling up towels to put at the bottom of the doors to help keep cold drafts out.

    I've checked for drafts with a candle, and there doesn't really seem to be any significant draft around the doors (they are weather-stripped). There is a little bit around the windows, and maybe we need to look into caulking or something for that.
    slk2042:

    Do you have a space heater you could use to just heat up the room you're in? (Close off the doors to the empty rooms.)

    I may have to resort to the space heater. I was hoping that with the help of the insulation, I wouldn't need any artificial heating until November--but I guess I am too big a wuss for that. But I'll see if I can find some ginger tea at the store. I don't know if it will help more than coffee, but it certainly can't hurt. If nothing else, it will be handy if either of us comes down with a stomachache.
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • 10-24-2008 12:12 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,458

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    haverwench:
    I just switched it on to check, and the basement is currently at 55% humidity. The upstairs might be lower.
     

    Raising the humidity probably won't help, then. You said you were dressing warmly; do you dress in layers? Two or three thin layers are warmer than one thick one. Also, being active will keep you warmer. Check around the perimeters of your home and remove anything that's blocking sunlight. That will help keep the house a little warmer. Candles give off quite a bit of heat, so burn them if you can. Designate one room as a "warm room." All houses have slightly warmer areas than others, so find the warmer area(s) and increase the warmth with candles, blankets and so on. If it's the kitchen, so much the better. Close it off from the rest of the house if you can and take advantage of cooking heat as well as candles, etc.

     

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  • 10-24-2008 12:17 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you stay warm?

     

    This may only be a small help, but we use "rice socks" quite a bit, especially in winter. Take an old clean sock that can be microwaved (athletic socks work great - some novelty socks don't if they're fleecy or have metallic threads in them) and fill it with uncooked rice. Tie or sew it shut. When you want some portable heat, microwave it for anywhere from 15-90 seconds. How long will depend on the size of the sock and how old the rice is - older rice needs longer.

    Then pull out your rice sock and you've got heat!

    We use rice socks in the folllowing ways:

    Small, short ones as pocket-warmers in jackets and in pants, or in the toes of slippers.
    Longer ones can be wrapped in a scarf and laid across the back of the neck.
    Larger ones can be put under the blankets in the bed before you climb in.

    Sometimes the warm uncooked rice will give an odor like slightly burnt popcorn. I don't mind it, but if you do, you can add lavender or other sweet-scented herbs in with the rice.

    ~~~~

    Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
    ~ Lewis Carroll

  • 10-24-2008 12:25 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you stay warm?

    Have you thought about wearing some flece pajamas while you are around the house they are very warm much warmer than flannel p.j. also this will not be pretty but if you could put blankets over your windows they help many years I lived in a mobile home & back then they were not insulated very well had mini blinds over all windows so just threw up some blankets over the windows it only shows on the inside only it relly helped.  Ceiling fans are supposed to help circulate the warm air you just have to reverse the switch.

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