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Posted by on Dec 12, 2010 in Lifestyle, Opinion, TG Roundup

TG Tip: Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This Winter

10. Prepare Your Furnace Ahead of Time

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterYou don’t want to wait until the temperatures are freezing before you visit your furnace, because if there’s anything wrong, you’ll be caught in freezing temperatures while you repair it. As winter approaches, give everything a good test run to make sure it works so you aren’t scrambling to find a repairman before your pipes freeze. Photo by Eneas De Troya.

9. Use a Space Heater to Heat One Room at Low Cost

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterIf you’re only spending time in one room of your house, you can usually give your heating a break and use a smaller space heater. They’ll only cost about $50 to $100; far less than the cost of keeping your entire home warm—plus, you have quite a few models to choose from to best fit your needs.

8. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This Winter If you haven’t invested in a fully programmable thermostat, now might be the time, as they can make your life a lot easier. Not only are they more energy-friendly, but after installing the system, there’s very little hassle involved later on. They’ll just adjust themselves depending on the time of day, so when it’s warmer out, you’re not wasting heat (and when you’re at work, you can leave your house a bit cooler).

7. Make Your Fireplace More Efficient

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterAn evening fire not only does a good job of keeping you warm, but it provides a very pleasant atmosphere on those cold winter nights. Unfortunately, fireplaces can be a bit inefficient, pulling tons of heat up through the chimney (which is even worse when you don’t have a fire going). Luckily, there are a few DIY solutions to maximize the heat a roaring fire provides. Make sure to sprinkle some coffee grounds in there, too, for easier cleanup later on.

6. Try Some Less Well-Known Homemade Warming Beverages

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterThere’s nothing wrong with hot chocolate and tea, but switch it up by trying something new, like the spicy, honey-based Russian beverage Sbiten. If it’s too late and you’ve gone past chills and into a cold, you might opt to try a throat-soothing honey lemon ginger infusion, or one of our many other homemade cough and cold remedies.

5. Weather Strip, Seal, and Curtain Your Windows

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterWhile it’s important to have a good heating system in your house, the other half of the equation is making sure heat doesn’t escape. Before it gets too cold, take some time to weather strip your windows to keep cold air out (and warm air in). If you don’t have the time for a full weatherproofing, a quick bubblewrap application will do the trick nicely.

4. Insulate Outlets and Switches

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterWhile keeping air from escaping out your doors and windows may seem obvious, they aren’t the only places in your house air can escape. Power outlets and light switches can contribute a remarkable amount of draftiness if not insulated properly. With just a screwdriver, some inexpensive foam plate seals, and maybe some expanding foam, you can plug those sneaky air holes up tight.

3. Harness the Sun’s Energy to Add Some Extra Heat to Your Home

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterWhile it probably won’t heat your whole house, you can probably cut down your heating costs by making your own solar heater. You can use nearly anything you have lying around—like old metal light fixtures or a tower of soda cans—and some black paint to create a free heat collector. If the sun doesn’t shine where you come from, you can also build your own rocket stove to heat your home using wood scraps.

2. Make Your Own Heated Clothing

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterHeated blankets are a godsend in the winter, but if you find you could use a little extra electric-powered body heat all the time, you can use some Teflon and copper wire connected to a battery to make your own heated thermal underwear. It’s extreme, sure—but there’s nothing like that toasty, fresh-out-of-the-dryer feeling all day long.

1. Winterize Your Body to Stay Fit and Healthy

Top 10 Better Ways to Stay Warm This WinterApart from actually creating and insulating the ever-precious heat, you need to make sure not to neglect your body’s changing needs in the winter. Being cold, sick and depressed is a lot worse than just being a little chilly. Getting enough sunshine, water, vitamins, and social activity is crucial to keeping yourself comfortable in the winter, so read up on the best ways to stay healthy in the winter before you get sick.

[Via – Lifehacker]