Butterfly Fund

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ways to stay warm without touching the thermostat!

Trying to keep your heating bill down? Here are ways to stay warm, without touching the thermostat:

  • Dress in layers
  • Wear wool
  • Wear thicker socks or slippers
  • Leave the oven open after you bake
  • Eat soup and other warm meals
  • Drink warm beverages
  • Open curtains and blinds during the day to let the sun in
  • Close curtains and blinds at night to keep out the cold
  • Pile extra blankets on your bed
  • Switch to flannel sheets and a down comforter
  • Snuggle up in a blanket whenever you're sitting down
  • Do something active (clean the house, exercise, etc.)
  • Wear a hat to prevent heat loss
  • Use a humidifier. Humid air feels warmer
  • Don't run the bathroom fan after you shower; the humidity will make the house feel warmer
  • Shut bathroom fans off as quickly as possible to prevent heat loss
  • Run ceiling fans in reverse to push warm air back down to the ground
  • Put on clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer
  • Use rugs on bare floors
  • Block drafts with weather stripping, rolled up towels or homemade draftstoppers
  • Keep your fireplace flue closed when you don't have a fire to prevent unnecessary heat loss
  • Make sure heat vents, registers and radiators are free of obstructions. If they're covered with furniture, the warm air won't reach you – even though you've paid for it

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

keeping warm

    Sweat suites make good pajamas. A layer of foam over the mattress or a feather bed is warm and snuggly. Put tomorrow's clothes in a warm place or under the top bedcovering. I agree with everything posted above, and usually find two cats clamped to my sides when I wake up.
—Guest Veronica91

Staying very warm

    Panty hose-knee highs for the feet and then layer on your socks or for the men also. Most Hunters here in Colorado wear the full set under the long johns-double warm-but try to get them to admit that-LOL
—Guest Ginny

Socks, tea and...fleece?

    When I get cold at night and I can't turn up the heat I put on 1-3 layers of socks. Try 1 layer of sock that is small, the next layer is slightly larger and the last layer is large enough to cover your foot but doesn't squeeze. I recommend the outer layer to be made of a fuzzy material. Next, try drinking herbal tea, I like chamomile teas. And last, buy a warm fleece blanket to wrap your self in at night. For warmth when you are not in bed and a jacket won't do it, get a snuggie.. The soft the better. Just wear it over a hoodie.
—Guest chelsea

Keeping warm house

    Put your largest pan filled with water on kitchen stove and keep heat at low level. Mine is on all night.
—Guest Geri

Wear mittens

    I not only wear a hat but mittens also and I tuck the bottom of my sleeve into the top of the mitten/ no mittents put a pair of wool socks over your hands and put it up your arms under your sweater. I also wrap myself up in a flannel sheet tightly and then get into bed and pull blankets up and around me. I always wear a hoodied sweat shirt to bed too. I also tend to live in one room that I use a space heater in my bed room has tv, computer, and phone in it along with a nice chair. and a tv tray to eat on.
—Guest sue Chandler

acclimate to the cold, wear layers

    I spend a lot of time outdoors, so I acclimate to cold and just get used to it. I wear layers including 2 layers of long johns and thermal socks. I eat differently in cold weather - plenty of pasta and peanut butter. If you are exposed to cold all the time, you actually do need some fats to keep warm. I only heat one room in the house, and only when I'm home, up and doing something. I bought a small cast-iron woodstove at flea market for heat for that room. wearing a hat to bed will help you stay warm, and I use knit gloves with the fingertips cut out when I'm up. Finally, I learned the difference between cold that is life-threatening and cold that is merely uncomfortable, and learned to accept some discomfort as part of life. Spring comes eventually, after all.
—Guest lisette

stay warm and save on utilities also.

    1) Heat up your bed which uses the newer fleece sheets ( I use two fleece blankets) and a down comforter with an electric blanket before getting into it.. then turn it off. 2 Turn off your water heater and just heat up your water as you need it on the stove or in an electric kettle. Place the boiled water in a large double walled stainless steel thermos that has a pump. This will do a single person's dishes for the day! You mix in some cold water with the very hot water and a little dish soap in a bowl. I also wash my face and brush my teeth using water from the thermos. I give myself a body wash as well! 3) Plan when you will take your bath or shower each week (one does not sweat as much in the winter or gets so dirty).. and turn on the water heater only for that time. The same goes for the washer. Never use a dryer! Just hang clothes on special concentrated laundry hangers by a heater, like a wood or gas stove. 4) Instead of using the washing machine fully, use a
—Guest patrice

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.

exercise clothes can keep you warm

    don't ditch your tights, leggings or other workout gear in the winter, wear it under your clothes. Less bulky and keeps you warmer.

Stay with friends/family

    stay with friends, family, pets anything that is warm even small things such as mice or rabbits.;)
—Guest Friendly

Warm up with your cat

    If you have a cat with long hair coat, let the cat stay on the same spot for 15 minutes and then the spot it stayed on is warm. You sit on the spot and your warm for free.
—Guest guest hi

Cover Your Shoulders

    I love shawls, either alone or over a coat, and I wear them out all the time. But I didn't want to wear them around the house. I can knit and crochet, but in not much more than a straight line; so I separated leftover yarn into "acrylic" and "woo,l" and made very wide scarves of each. They're perfect for what I wanted and the scrap yarn has yielded some interesting color combos.

Old house

    My windows are circa 1929 so it can get cold. I put weatherstripping on some of them, and a heat-retention film on the ones I don't need to open. I always wear slippers lined with raw wool and have lots of cozy blankets available in the living room. We also leave the bathroom door open after a bath to let the humidity into the rest of the house. Another great option to increase the humidity is to soak bar towels in water, wring them out and place on the hot-water radiators. As they dry they humidify the air.
—Guest pixie

Keeping warm without turning up the heat

    I bake as many things as I can to keep the house warmer.
—Guest Susan

hot water bottle

    Forget the standard hot water bottle. Get a stainless steel water bottle with a hard plastic cap. Fill with hot tap water and stick it in a tube sock. Much better than a cold bed, and it never leaks.
—Guest Cold Johnson

Layer up!

    Layering up clothes helps to keep the heat in. Wearing a pair of longjohns or leggings underneath my jeans keeps the wind from hitting my skin. Wool socks are fantastic for staying warm as well. I have two comforters on my bed and flannel sheets. I also wrap my legs in a fleece blanket, because my feet are always so cold! Hot cocoa and/or hot oatmeal helps warm me up too :)
—Guest Lauren

The old fashion way

    Candles and Oil lamps are a great way to keep warm. Buy votive candles when they are on clearance, or make your own by filling various sized holders with left over wax. I have 7 candles hanging on the wall near my entry way and up my stairs. Warms the air, and rises making the upstairs a bit warmer. You can also light several in any room the family is sitting in to keep things warm I light a few in my bedroom too when I read at night. Be careful about the fire hazard and don't light them near curtains, etc..
—Guest LeannY

A New Blanket Strategy

    If you cant get warm at night no matter how many blankets you pile on top of you, try tucking a few of them under you. Metal is a strong thermal conductor and will quite literally suck the warmth out of you, and that includes the metal springs in most mattresses.
—Guest 42crossroads

How to stay warm

    Put on heavier clothes instead of light clothes in layers, that way the heat can stay inside the clothing instead of seeping through the light layers.
—Guest Katherine

Keeping Warm

    We purchased a Ben Frankin Wood Burning Stove, and it's a great investment cuz it gets us toasty warm (w/o the house heat on), its soooo romantic (day & night) and a large portion of the house heats up too.
—Guest Maggie Darrell

sleep warm

    We sleep in our sleeping bags on cold nights. Most are warm down to at least 40 degrees. We also keep a space heater in the bathroom to take the chill off when showering.
—Guest yooby2


    I crochet for a living...so while I'm working or even just watching tv I always have something I'm making draped over me. I also make plenty of hats and scarves for everyone I know. I make a point to also bake everyday, so the oven does a fine job of heating our home.

Get Native!

    Red wine and never having the heating up too high - if you are in a hot country use AC sparingly to allow yourself to get used to the climate, same goes for the chill. And a cosy jumper
—Guest The King of Scaff

Buy a thermal blanket.

    I brought something call a Velux blanket over 15 years ago. If you put one of these under a quilt or comforter, you will be able to turn your heat down; and you won't need an electric blanket. These blankets are still being sold today. The blankets we have in the house got my familly through an ice storm that knocked out power for weeks in Kentucky. Well worth the money invested. They feel good to boot!

Let the water stand

    I pay to heat the water to hand wash dishes, to bathe and shower. Why would I let that heat go down the sewer pipe? I let the water stand in the sink or tub and give off its heat to the house. It also adds needed humidity to the air. NOTE: DO NOT do this if there are small children in the house.
—Guest Denise


    Buy a quality feather bed topper for your mattress! That with some nice German flannel sheets is the best way to keep that thermostat down at night.
—Guest JDOG

pellet stove heat

    A pellet-stove fireplace is our main source of heat, though our furnace does come on at times. The pellet stove regulates its own temperature that we pre-set with a remote control, so there's no fire-damage concern as there is with a wood stove. Of course, there was the initial investment of about 3,000.00, and there needs to be room to store the bags of pellets (2 tons for our 2300 sq ft home, and a ton of pellets costs about the same as a cord of wood). the added benefit is a very cozy atmosphere and the extra lighting provided by the fire. we can make-do almost the entire evening with just the pellet stove and one lamp.


    Heat is expensive! So I bought a little ECO-heater at www.4centheat.com. It mounts on the wall and only uses 400-watts, which costs me only 3-1/2 cents per hour to run. It keeps a whole room warm without the cost of heating the whole house! I love it!!
—Guest NC Mountains

keep warm

    When I was in the hospital last year I was given a sock filled with rice that was to be micowaved and used as a heating pad. You can fall asleep with it and not having to worry about cords or burning. I have made several more (use cheap rice) and they are a lifesaver for hands and feet. Enjoy!
—Guest minnesotagal

For apartment dwellers

    When DH and I selected our apartment, we chose the top floor so that all of the heat from the apartments beneath us rises and keeps us toasty warm. We've even had to open windows to let some heat out in December!

to get warm

    I take a hot shower whenever I get cold it raises the tempture of my body.Throughout the day I drink hot chocolate or hot tea. When I'm still to watch tv or on the computer I always put a blanket on me.Pamela

burn wood, not electricity

    We don't use our electric furnace at all if we can help it. Instead we have a wood-burning stove. We cut the wood in the summer/late fall and stack against back fence. We also burn coal (bought a special grate), one large lump of coal keeps us warm all night long, and we save on our wood as we only need a little bit to get the fire burning well so we can put the coal on it. I do realize that a woodstove isn't practical or a reality for many people, but those people who live in rural area with woods might want to look in to getting one.

Warm bed

    Fill a hot water bottle or 1 litre empty pop bottle with hot water and tuck it under your blanket before going to bed. Your bed is warm and then tuck the bottle down by your feet when going to bed to keep your feet warm all night. Sleeping in a cool room with a warm bed is refreshing.
—Guest Anna

Staying warm

    We pre-warm our bed with an electric mattress cover. It's nice and toasty when we're ready for bed and we can turn off the mattress cover for a comfortable night's sleep.
—Guest Carol


    I wear a coat like i would if i went outside also many socks pants amd hats

warmth without bulk

    I know that wearing a hat helps, but I my hair is thick and curly, so that doesn't work so well for me. A great alternative that I have found very effective is to wear a warm scarf, acrylic is excellent and inexpensive, and of course, wool is great also. I wear one at work and it helps a lot when everyone else is comfortable or even warm and I'm still cold, which is common. Putting a scarf around my neck makes a considerable difference, in addition to wearing things like a sweater and warm socks. Another tip, from a friend of mine, is to wear an insulated vest. I'm skeptical because I think sleeves are so important, but she insists that all the heat is in the center anyway, so a vest does keep you warm, and I've seen that my friends who don't like coats prefer to keep cozy that way. So, I'm probably going to try a vest this year. Now, if you get a vest with a think fuzzy collar, you get both these solutions in one garment!
—Guest April

Old wisdom

    I have found one of the most effective way to ignore the cold is a shot of vodka.
—Guest boris

Hot bath

    One good way to knock off the chill is to soak in a hot bath until your body temp. rises. You should stay warm for a long time afterwords. Also, close off any rooms not in use.
—Guest Tammy

Three Dog Night

    This, of course, isn't for everybody. But sleep with your doggies. A very cold night was considered, A Three Dog Night, in that it would take 3 doggies in bed to keep you warm. I have 3 Maltese and 1 West Highland Terrier, so I'm plenty warm.

Sealing Windows

    I like to seal the windows that I don't open often with plastic in the winter. I certainly don't open all of the windows in my home when it's cold out, and the plastic is inexpensive and easy to use. It keeps a lot of cold drafts out of my home.
—Guest Sandra


    As a family of four - we honestly don't need to use all of our space all the time. We keep the thermostat down and keep doors closed so we aren't heating hallways. We also have two small common rooms that we keep warm - with a portable hydronic heater that heats small spaces quickly, and is able to maintain a comfortable temp without our furnace turning on. In addition, we have electric blankets that we turn on just before going to bed - to warm it up - and then we turn them off when we climb into bed. Once in bed and under the covers our bodies hold their temp. We have decided that changing the way we think, is just as important. What is bearable vs. what we think we deserve - About a 10 degree difference.
—Guest kandt

Staying warm without paying for it

    It's hard to work when it's cold, but rather than turning up the heat at home, I work at school where the heat's provided free of charge! When I come home, I wear a hoodie and longjohns to bed, underneath my down duvet and between my flannel sheets.
—Guest Tom

Tighten up Your Home

    We spent a small amount of money (if you own your home): caulking all our windows, doors, used expanding foam around inside of garage doors, added thin foam receptacle liners (for outside walls. And remember to close your house vents along your crawl space areas! lots of heat lost there! And use some of that saved money to buy some beautiful, warm woolies!