25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (2022)

For those looking to reduce your heating bill without a big investment, we've put together a list of 25 cheap ways to keep your house warm in winter. Some of these options reduce heat loss, others add heat to the home or keep the heat where you need it.

25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (1)

This post is part of our Winter Home Heating Series, which includes:

  • Best Ways to Keep Your House Warm – New Construction and Remodeling
  • Keeping Warm – Winter Prep Check List for You and Your Home
  • Emergency Heat During a Power Outage and other Winter Storm Preps

Contents

  • 25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter
    • Use the Right Ventilation
    • Get Heat Where You Need It
    • Insulate Inside and Out to Reduce Heat Loss
    • Reduce Window Heat Loss
    • Adding Extra Warmth to Your Home
25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (2)

Use the Right Ventilation

1. Replace bathroom exhaust vent switches with timer switches so vents can't be left on by accident. Vent only when needed. Winter air tends to be dry, so if you don't mind a little less privacy, open your bathroom door and let the steam escape into the house instead.

2. Make sure bathroom fans/vents have baffles/draft blockers on the outside so you don't have cold air blowing back into the house.

(Video) Winter Home Hacks Everyone Should Know

3. Switch ceiling fans (reverse them) spring and fall. If you have heated floors turn off the ceiling fans, if you have forced air heat, turn them on.

4. Close the doors and vents in unused rooms if you are trying to reduce heating costs or keep your living space warmer in an emergency. Note: Be careful not to let rooms get too cold if they have plumbing, so you don't end up with frozen pipes.

See “Prevent Frozen Pipes – Extreme Cold Options and Construction Tips” for more plumbing tips.

5. Outside airflow makes a difference, too. Consider a snow fence to control where snow drops and control drifting. See the post How to Put Up a Snow Fence. Even a small snow fence can break the strong winds somewhat.

Get Heat Where You Need It

6. If you have radiators (or baseboard heating pipes) line the inside of the exterior wall with tinfoil (or other heat reflecting materials from your home improvement store). This will reflect some of the heat back into the home. The same can be done for ovens, wood stoves and other heat sources internally.

7. Make sure you aren't blocking airflow from forced air vents, and that the vents are open where you need heat. Don't block your vents with furniture, piles of dirty clothes or other debris.

8. If you have a chimney and are not using it, make sure its flue and draft (if it has both) are closed. Open chimneys can suck the heat right out of your home. (This is one of the biggest issues with open fireplaces – too much heat loss from the room. )

Consider blocking the chimney with a fireplace insert insulation to reduce heat loss if it will be left unused indefinitely – just don't forget to take it out if you decide to use it again.

25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (3)
(Video) BEST WAYS to STAY WARM in a WINTER POWER OUTAGE

Insulate Inside and Out to Reduce Heat Loss

9. Insulate hot water/radiator pipes and ductwork running through non-living areas. You don't want lose heat in a crawl space or utility area, you want it to get your house warm.

10. Pipe insulation isn't just for exposed pipes. You can place it along the bottom of an exterior OR interior door to reduce drafts.

11. Attic access or attic doors can be the source of large amounts of heat loss. Make sure your attic access is VERY well insulated.

12. Don't let the cold radiate up from your floor.An uninsulated floor can cause more than 10% heat loss in a home. This is especially important if your home is “built on a slab” (no basement). Insulate the floor with warm rugs and/or carpets. The bearskin or sheepskin rugs were historical solutions for floor insulation.

13. In extreme cold, hang blankets along the wall, even where there aren't windows, the wall can radiate cold through it. This is especially true if the insulation isn't good enough. If this happens regularly you need to check your wall insulation.

14. Consider placing bales of hay along the edge of your basement and lower portion of 1st floor of your home. You will need to make sure you protect against mice, they will move in. The hay functions as basic exterior insulation and adds thermal insulating mass.

Reduce Window Heat Loss

15. Uncover the south facing windows to let in solar heat on sunny days. See “Passive Solar Heating Basics” for more information on how to make the most out of your solar gain.

16. Add insulating window coverings.Honeycomb cellular insulating shades are a good option to consider. Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, and numerous websites and stores will allow custom orders. We have Bali insulating double-cellular shades.

(Video) How to heat your home with no electricity or power

We open and close the insulating blinds with the sun. We are have to replace the insulating blinds roughly every 10 years. If you don't like the insulating shades, consider Insulating Curtains to reduce your heat loss.

25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (4)

17. Add interior window insulation using something like a 3m insulation kit. These window insulating kits can be combined with the shades or curtains.

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18. For a cheap short term solution, use duct tape and an old blanket to cover your windows. It's ugly, but functional.

19. If you have a really big window and want to reduce heat loss, you can duct tape a large clear shower curtain to the inside (just past the frame). (A shower curtain is thicker than the window insulating kit plastic.) It will allow sun in during the day and still provide an air gap to reduce heat loss. Adding a curtain or shades over it helps even more at night.

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Adding Extra Warmth to Your Home

20. Don't drain a bathtub that is hot. Wait for it to cool before you drain it. If there's a storm coming where you may lose power, fill the tub with hot water. You get additional heat in the home and an emergency water source.

(Video) How to Heat Your Home WITHOUT Electricity | 100 year old Invention-Perfection Heaters

21. When you finish baking, leave the stove open slightly to let the home get all that wonderful heat. Winter is a great time to practice your homemade bread baking skills. If you froze fruits and berries in the summer, winter is a perfect time to finish your jam and jelly making.

22. Your pets are mobile heaters. Consider cuddling if it gets really cold. Our cats think movie time is the best thing ever since they have nice warm humans to nap on.

23. Keep blankets and lap rugs handy and use them. When we sit, our circulation slows down. Keeping a throw blanket over your lap while you're knitting or watching TV can improve your comfort levels without turning up the thermostat.

24. If you spend a fair amount of time at a desk, a heated foot warmer may be a good investment. My mother in law has theCozy Products TT Toasty Toes Ergonomic Heated Foot Warmer under her desk. It gets a good workout when she's working on genealogy.

25. Invest in a small, clean burning portable propane heater to add heat only where and when you need it. The 18,000 BTU propaneBig Buddy Heater is well reviewed online and by friends who have used it.

Do you have an inexpensive tip for keeping warm that I missed? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (7)

You may also find helpful:

(Video) FREE HEAT FOREVER! (DIY)

  • Emergency Cooking – 10 Ways to Have a Hot Meal When the Power Goes Out
  • Emergency Power Options for Your Home
  • Thawing Frozen Pipes – 3 Ways to Safely Defrost Plumbing
  • Winter Car Kit and Winter Vehicle Maintenance Check List
  • What You Need to Know about Masonry Heaters for Radiant Heat

Don't forget to check out our other Cold Weather Preparedness posts.

FAQs

How can I keep my house warm without central heating? ›

4 Ways to Stay Warm this Winter without Central Heat
  1. Cover the Windows. Windows are not only great for letting natural light in and illuminating your home. ...
  2. Use WarmlyYours Towel Warmers. ...
  3. Add Radiant Heating Panels. ...
  4. Install Electric Radiant Floor Heating.
5 Dec 2012

What is the cheapest way to heat a house UK? ›

What's the Cheapest Way to Heat Your Home?
  • ✔ A gas boiler with solar thermal panels is the cheapest way to heat your home.
  • ✔ But electric combi boilers will take top spot in the next decade.
  • ✔ Ground source heat pumps are the most expensive heating system.
10 Oct 2022

Do candles heat up a room? ›

A candle can only produce very little heat. In fact, it produces a twentieth of what a space heater can produce. The heating capacity of a candle is just enough to keep a tea hot. A space heater can keep a whole room toasty.

What temperature is too cold for a house UK? ›

Below 13° - If your home is this cold, it may increase your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease. 14-15° - If your home is this cold, you may be diminishing your resistance to respiratory diseases. 18° is the recommended night time bedroom temperature.

Can you live without heating UK? ›

Especially knowing that it is possible to live without heating or air conditioning, even though it is not easy. One of the main keys to achieving this lies in changing the distribution of our home, a decision that can help us greatly reduce our gas and electricity bills.

How do you make yourself warm without a blanket? ›

Here are some activities you can try.
  1. Jumping jacks. While “getting your blood flowing” does help increase core body temperature, intense or long-term cardio exercise (such as running) can actually lead to a short-term decrease in skin temperature as you sweat. ...
  2. Walking. ...
  3. Putting your hands in your armpits. ...
  4. Clothing.
5 Jan 2021

How can I keep warm in the winter without electricity? ›

Here are five ways to stay warm—and safe—during a power outage.
  1. If You Can, Get a Generator. Even if you've already lost power, it's not too late to look for a portable generator. ...
  2. Stay in a Southern-Facing Room. ...
  3. Seal Window and Door Leaks. ...
  4. Use a Fireplace or Another Heat Source. ...
  5. Camp Out Indoors.
5 Jan 2022

Why is my house cold when it's warm outside UK? ›

Small Draughts

One of the most obvious sources of cold in your home is draughts, as you can feel the cold air on your skin. There are many places in your home which may be letting the chilly outside air into your home and, while each one may only be small, they can really add up to a real chill.

How can I heat my house without gas or electricity? ›

There's a few different things you can do, such as:
  1. Block up cracks and crevices.
  2. Consider double or triple glazing.
  3. Invest in thick curtains.
  4. Let sunlight in during the day.
  5. Check on the efficiency of your chimney.
  6. Close unused rooms.
  7. Consider solar heating.
  8. Pull out the blankets and layers.
7 Dec 2021

Do curtains keep heat in? ›

Are curtains good for insulation? Absolutely. Curtains reduce the amount of air exchange between a cold window and the rest of the room. For keeping heat inside the home, high-quality curtains can reduce heat loss by around 40%, particularly if they are floor length and close to the wall and window panes.

How cold is too cold for inside house? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends indoor temperatures of at least 64°F (you can drop that down to 62°F at night if you're really looking to save on your heating bill). But if you have infants, sick or elderly people in your household, then it's recommended that you keep the thermostat set at 70°F.

How do I make emergency heat? ›

Metal Can, Alcohol and Toilet Paper Emergency Heater

Just put a roll of toilet paper into a tin can. Pour the alcohol over the toilet paper, so it is just saturated. Then light the alcohol on fire. The alcohol is the fuel, and the toilet paper is like a wick in a candle.

Why is my house cold when it's warm outside UK? ›

Small Draughts

One of the most obvious sources of cold in your home is draughts, as you can feel the cold air on your skin. There are many places in your home which may be letting the chilly outside air into your home and, while each one may only be small, they can really add up to a real chill.

Are oil filled radiators cheap to run? ›

Oil filled radiators are more economical to run because they retain heat longer and power demand through the temperature control is called upon less frequently.

Are there heaters that don't require electricity? ›

Gas heaters burn fuel such as propane, natural gas or kerosene. One big difference and benefit of gas space heaters is that they won't be affected during a power outage, since they don't use electricity.

Videos

1. How to keep warm this winter| Lower your Energy bills| Frugal living
(Frugal Lizzy Bee)
2. 25 HACKS TO STAY WARM AND COZY THIS WINTER
(5-Minute Crafts DIY)
3. How to Reduce Home Heat Loss | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY
(Mitre 10 New Zealand)
4. 10 Hacks To Stay Warm In Winter Blackouts
(Survival Know How)
5. 5 Cheap & Affordable Ways to Keep Your Home Warm During the Winter!
(Kristen Scudder)
6. Crisco candle room heating | Power Outage Room Heating | 9 hour test
(Riverside Homestead Life)

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