When the weather outside is frightful, you’ll need to take heating into your own hands. Here are just 10 everyday hacks that will keep your home from looking like Elsa’s ice mansion in Frozen.
1. Program Your Coffeemaker
There’s nothing worse than shivering in an empty kitchen while you wait for your coffeemaker to come alive. The good news is that most modern coffeemakers come with a timer, so with a little tinkering, you can have a warm, steaming mug waiting for you as soon as you wake up.
2. Replace Your Weather Stripping
If you can’t afford an actual panel of weather stripping from the hardware store, duct tape will do. Just make sure that cold air isn’t being allowed to seep into your home through window frames and door gaps.
3. Boil a Pot of Water
In addition to the heat that you’ll enjoy from the stove, a boiling pot of water will eventually evaporate, add moisture to the air and make you feel warmer. You can achieve the same thing with a humidifier, but this way is cheaper.
4. Trick Your Thermostat
Do you work in an office where you aren’t allowed to adjust the thermostat? The long-term solution is to quit your job and find a better one where the boss isn’t a sadist, but a quick fix is to blow a fan directly on the thermostat. The cold blast might trick it into cranking up the heat.
5. Cover Your Car
If you know that a blizzard is about to roll through town, keep your vehicle’s delicate parts from freezing and breaking by covering them with household objects. Rear view mirrors can be protected with plastic bags; windshield wipers can be kept warm with socks.
6. Break Out the Bubble Wrap
Do you have any leftover bubble wrap from Christmas? Don’t throw it away or waste it on idle-yet-satisfying popping adventures. Tape it to the inside of your windows for cheap, easy insulation.
7. Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
There’s some complicated science involved with drafts and wind chill effects, but all you need to know is that a ceiling fan going clockwise will keep you warmer in the winter than one going counterclockwise. Try it and see!
8. Put Hot Water Bottles Under Your Covers
This hack comes directly from our ancestors in medieval times. Instead of shivering under cold sheets and waiting for them to adjust to your body heat, slip a hot water bottle inside them to make them warm and toasty while you go through your evening bedtime routine.
9. Create Your Own Heat Source
Speaking of hot water bottles, you don’t have to buy fancy ones from the supermarket. If you have a sock, a bag of rice and a microwave, you can create a homemade heat source that can be used again and again.
10. Cover Your Water Heater
Your toes aren’t the only things that get cold! If you want to stop your water heater from losing heat and upping its energy levels to compensate, you’ll need to cover it up. You can buy special flame-retardant water heater covers at most hardware stores.
These are just a few life hacks for staying warm in the winter. If you’re serious about not becoming an extra from Frozen, you’ll take this advice. Good luck!
Charlie Teschner started MESA Heating in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.