The bitter cold of winter can increase both your discomfort and your power bills. For people who have health problems such as arthritis, this can be a dilemma. Turning up the heat means losing money. Turning down the heat means losing comfort.
It seems like a no-win situation. But there are some low-cost ways you can help yourself stay warm when it’s cold outside. Optimizing the insulation of your home and your body will help you dial up the heat without moving the thermostat.
The first line of defense against the cold is layering. I remember a winter from my early 20s where a snowstorm knocked out the electricity for days. My cheap, ground-floor apartment was freezing. I wore several layers during the day, and at night, I slept in socks and a hat.
Even if you have functional heat, you may want to sleep with a hat and socks. I wear socks to bed every night just because I like to be warm. And during the winter I drink hot drinks several times a day. They not only help heat up your hands and face, but they keep you from getting dehydrated in the dry winter climate.
For underneath layers, choose materials that are thin, yet warm. You don’t want to restrict your movements with too much bulk. But having something close to your skin that will hold in your body heat is ideal. ILA carries angora warmers for your knees, lower back, and shoulder. These warmers are thin and light, but thermal, thanks to the hollow structure of their natural fibers.
Optimize The Use Of Your Windows
Having a lot of windows in the winter can be good or bad, depending on how you use them. Poorly insulated windows will allow your heat to seep out. Making sure they are weatherized and caulked can significantly reduce your power bill when it gets cold. (Or hot.)
If you aren’t able to do home renovations but know your windows need work, covering them in bubble wrap can help. Bubble wrap is a great insulator, and you can often collect it for free from people who get a lot of packages in the mail. Tape the bubble wrap over your entire window, especially paying attention to the seams. It may not look attractive, but it will make a difference.
Your windows can also be used to bring in heat. When it’s sunny outside, open your curtains and blinds. Sun streaming through a glass window can warm up the air quickly. Once the sun starts to set, you should close the blinds again. Collecting and trapping heat is a great way to give your thermostat a boost.
Eliminating drafts and reducing the size of the space you need heated are other ways to save money. Putting down rugs or carpet on hard floors will keep your feet and body warmer without having to change the temperature of the whole room.
Closing off unused rooms helps when you are running central heat or space heaters. No need to pay for heating areas of your home that no one is in. And when you close of empty spaces, put down door snakes to keep the cold air from seeping out of those drafty rooms into your toasty living area.
Does that hot drink sound good now? ILA has the Hot Shot Beverage Maker available online. The Hot Shot heats single servings of hot water to bring you drinks, soups, or hot cereals in 90 seconds.