When the temperature drops, one of our main priorities is staying warm. But your heating bill doesn’t have to go through the roof.
In this article, I’ll go over some steps you can take to stay warm in the winter without hurting your wallet.
10 Ways To Stay Warm Without Spending Any Money
These strategies come from Team Clark’s research, as well as money expert Clark Howard’s readers, who were asked about the many ways they keep warm in the winter without spending money.
You’ll also find some tips from government resources on how to keep your home warm.
1. Pull the Rug
If you have hardwood floors and you want to be able to walk around your home without your toes becoming ice-cold, pull out a rug.
If you’ve got a runner or small rug rolled up in a closet somewhere, now’s the time to put it to use. Not only could it enhance your home cosmetically, but it will create a warm pathway that helps keep your feet warm.
2. Run the Ceiling Fan Clockwise
In the summer, your fan should run counterclockwise to cool the room. In the winter, you should change the direction the blades turn so that they’ll push warm air (which always rises) down toward you.
“Remember to adjust your thermostat when using your ceiling fan — additional energy and dollar savings could be realized with this simple step,” says EnergyStar.gov.
3. Exercise to Stay Warm
The benefits of physical exercise need little explanation. Whether you’re working out in your own home gym or taking walks outside, you know that it does a body good.
Exertion also heats up the body’s core, promoting blood circulation while increasing your metabolism. The result? You’ll start to warm up. But don’t overdo it and remember to drink water.
4. Break Out the Blanket
It doesn’t have to be bedtime for you to grab the blanket before you prop up in bed or plop down in your favorite chair.
5. Stay Off the Caffeine
As much as you may love your morning coffee, caffeine is not going to help you keep warm, according to the experts. “If you’re cold, stay away from caffeinated beverages (like coffee and tea) and nicotine,” Marty Molitoris, a certified climbing guide, tells BuzzFeed. “They cause your vessels to constrict, which limits blood flow.”
6. Change Your Bedding
One great way to stay warm is to change your bedsheets to more season-appropriate material when it’s cold outside. You may enjoy the warmth that fleece, flannel or another thick fabric can bring.
7. Batten Down the Hatches
Make sure warm air isn’t escaping through the crevices of your home. Here’s some advice from the National Institute on Aging: “Close the vents and shut the doors in rooms, and keep the basement door closed. Place a rolled towel in front of all doors to keep out drafts.”
8. Heat Your Clothes by Putting Them in the Dryer
Want to boost your body heat at least for a little while? Put your clothes in the dryer for just five minutes.
This is a favorite hack of mine. Not only will your garments be super-toasty, but it will make the distance from your front door to the car a little less painful.
9. Take Advantage of Oven Heat
After you’re done cooking, turn off the oven but leave it open.
You’ll be surprised how comfy you can make a room just by taking advantage of oven heat.
10. Turn the Heat on Briefly Before Bedtime
One of our readers on Facebook shared this advice on keeping warm: “At night, we run the heat for 15-30 minutes upstairs right before we go to bed to warm the place up, then turn it off. That way the heat doesn’t run all night. And we keep our downstairs at 66 all night, so the heat doesn’t usually come on there.”
For his part, Clark says he prefers his home to be on the chilly side come bedtime. “I have a Nest thermostat so the house is on 68 during the day and 64 at night.”
Instead of running to the store (or hopping online) to buy a space heater or electric blanket, take a moment to think about many of household items you already have in your possession that can help keep you warm.
What do you do to stay warm for free? If you’ve got some suggestions or recommendations, let us know in the comments and we just might add them to the story!