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Two people resting their feet by a roaring fireplace.

12 Winter Warm-up Tips to Keep Your Home Cozy

December 22, 2015

Winter is here! And while many of us do everything we can to keep our homes warm throughout the season, there are always additional ways to remain comfortable and cozy without turning up the thermostat. So, as the temperatures continue to plummet outside, take proactive steps inside with these tips and tricks!

  1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
  2. Gone are the days of manually fiddling around to get the furnace to turn on – push it too far and it’ll come on and be too warm; push it too little and it turns off. Installing a programmable can save you as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from its normal setting. Programmable thermostats can store multiple daily settings that you can even manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

  3. Reverse the Ceiling Fans
  4. Did you know many of today’s ceiling fans have a “winter” setting on them which reverses the fan so that it moves clockwise instead of counterclockwise? If not, you are not alone! Since heat rises, the clockwise-spinning fan will push the heat back down into the room instead of being trapped up at the ceiling.

  5. Let There be Light
  6. We all know that when the sun comes up, the temperature within our homes tend to increase. For all of you homeowners with natural light, take advantage of the free heat. A great way to increase your chances is to try opening up the shades/blinds/curtains earlier in the day.

  7. Keep Curtains Closed at Night
  8. In addition to keeping your curtains open throughout the day, a great trick to keep the heat in long after the sun sets is to close the curtains around your home. By doing so, you will trap the heat in and keep the temperatures up in your home.  

  9. Check on Potential Air Leaks
  10. Whether you’re in a new house or an older one, it’s inevitable that air is going to leak. It could come in through drafty windows, doors or attics that allow cold air in and draw heated air out. A great way to stop or prevent this from happening is to begin checking the weather-stripping around your windows and doors throughout your home.

  11. Take Advantage of Space Heaters
  12. Space heaters are excellent tools for keeping individual rooms warm, but be warned: space heaters are a high fire risk. To be safe, keep flammable material at least three feet away and make sure the heater is on a stable and even surface. Also, remember never to leave space heaters on overnight or when you leave your home.

  13. Keep Furniture Away from Vents
  14. While it is ideal to have your rocking chair or sectional couch right next to the vent, always check to make sure they’re far enough away to maximize the heat potential. 
    When you put furniture on top or right near the vent it may disrupt the flow of heat.

  15. Use Area Rugs
  16. In addition to your ‘typical’ winter enhancements around your home to keep you and your family warm, another creative way to keep heat in is through area rugs. While area rugs add a design element to your room, they can also serve as another layer of insulation to the floor which in turn traps the cool air underneath and keeps it from seeping up and cooling the room back down.

  17. Turn off the Bathroom Fan
  18. Did you know that the exhaust fans in bathrooms pull hot air to the ceiling and out of your home? If so, you and your loved ones should be using them sparingly. A great way to add heat to your home while you shower (and to cool down the bathroom) is to leave your bathroom door open or cracked. By doing so you are letting the warm, steamy air travel throughout your home.

  19. Open the Oven Door
  20. For individuals who bake or cook each evening or routinely at home, a simple yet efficient way to add heat to your home is to leave the oven door open. Once you or your family members are done cooking your evening meal, remember to leave the door open while it cools so that the hot air will fill the room. You’ve already paid for the gas or electricity—might as well use it!

  21. Change Your Sheets
  22. A trick that many may forget throughout the cooler months that will quickly add warmth and comfort to your home is to put flannel sheets on your bed. Not only do they feel great, but flannel sheets will keep you warmer throughout the winter season. Don’t forget the extra blankets if needed!

  23. Close off Unused Rooms
  24. If there are rooms in your home that you do not use on a daily basis or frequently, a helpful way to keep your home warm throughout the winter is to close the doors to these rooms. By doing so you will prevent cold air from moving into the rest of the house in addition to containing the heat you’ve generated.

  25. Ready to Keep Warm and Enjoy the Season?

This holiday season keep you and your loved ones warm with these helpful tips and tricks! And while keeping warm is your top priority, it never hurts to get in the holiday cheer with some movies! Put a log on the fire, pull on the Snuggie, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy a few holiday classics such as:

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)
Is there any better way to spend the holidays than with the wacky and entertaining Griswold clan? This is a non-stop laugh fest from the opening trip to find a Christmas tree to the famous living-room standoff. Christmas Vacation is a Christmas classic and may even outdo the original Vacation film.

“A Christmas Story” (1983)
There’s a reason this film plays for 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve/Christmas. It’s a holiday must-see as Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) is a 9-year-old boy in the 1940s Midwest who has his sights set on a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. This movie highlights how weird and quirky your family and friends can be around the holidays.

“Elf” (2003)

All you need to know is that it includes a grown man dressed as an elf. Will Ferrell delivers an unforgettable performance that’s funny and heartwarming all at the same time.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) 
Although it’s a “cartoon” aimed at children, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” speaks to the real reason of Christmas while touching on adult themes of commercialism and sadness that many people feel this time of year. Equal parts tradition, nostalgia, seasonal celebration, and joy, creator Charles M. Schultz shows how special this cartoon is to so many.

“The Santa Clause” (1994)
What if you could be Santa? The 1994 film plays out this scenario as comedian Tim Allen as Scott Allen takes over for Santa on Christmas Eve after Santa takes a fatal fall off his roof. The story brings you back to the childhood fantasies of Christmas with the perils of a man who has lost the holiday magic and works to get it back. It’s a family favorite that will make you laugh and dream at the same time.

“Home Alone” (1990) 
While it never received an Academy Award, “Home Alone” is one of the biggest hits of 1990. Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is left behind in five-bedroom mansion while his family jets off to France for the holidays. The young boy defends his turf with a series of booby traps against a pair of dimwitted burglars. This is a movie worth watching, ya filthy animals.