HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Frugal and Energy Efficient Living (Group) » 7 tactics for staying war...

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 05:32 PM

7 tactics for staying warm in a cool house

https://www.treehugger.com/green-home/7-tactics-staying-warm-cool-house.html




7 tactics for staying warm in a cool house
Katherine Martinko, January 2, 2019

Do the green thing and resist reaching for the thermostat.

A yellow Post-It note covers the thermostat at my parents' house. It says, "Don't touch! Put log on fire!" Indeed, their house in the Canadian forest is unusual. It is heated predominantly by a wood-burning cook stove in the kitchen, and the furnace is used only at night to "take the edge off" if the outdoor temperature is supposed to drop below -20C (-4F). This means that the kitchen is always toasty warm, sometimes oppressively so, while the rest of the house can be uncomfortably cool.

As a result, my siblings and I learned from early on to use old-fashioned tactics to stay warm and cozy all winter long. I was delighted to see many of these 'tricks' listed in an article on The Simple Dollar by Donna Freedman, titled "11 Essential (and Mostly Cheap) Tactics for Weathering Winter's Worst." These tricks are useful not only for saving money and allowing one to keep the thermostat lower, but also, I'd argue, for making the cold winter months more enjoyable; they add an element of coziness.
Below are my daily cold-busting tactics, many of which are shared in common with Freedman's article and some that aren't. The more you do these things, the more normal they become. Now I keep my own home cool (17C/63F during the day, 12C/54F at night) because these ingrained practices eliminate the need to turn up the heat.

#1: Wool socks and slippers

If you live in an uncarpeted house with hardwood floors, as I do, then wool socks and slippers are an absolute must. Each on its own is helpful, but put the two together and you'll have the most divinely warm feet all day long.
#2: Hot drinks

Working from home means that I'm fairly still for prolonged periods of time, sitting or standing in front of my computer. Having a steady supply of hot tea gets me through the day without overdoing the caffeine. Drink anything hot lemon water with honey, broth in a mug, spiced apple cider, coffee, steamed flavored milk. It will raise your body temperature and boost your mood.
#3: A 'frugal heating pad' and/or hot water bottle

Donna Freedman describes how to make a frugal heating pad: "Fill a sock or small cloth bag with uncooked rice, and heat in the microwave for a warmth that keeps on giving." It can keep your hands warm in your pockets or your toes warm in bed. Other grains work, too; my mother once stitched me a barley- and lavender-filled pad. An old-fashioned hot water bottle is a simple yet glorious addition, too.


I live in upstate NY, I do not own a furnace (never installed one in the house), have a passive solar house (south facing great room/windows), tend to drink hot tea and have many small blankets on my couch and typically only start the wood stove on weekends/holidays and when it's below 35F outside (for the record I heat mostly from wood gathered from my own 10+ acres). I have become acclimated to a 55F house and rarely feel cold during the winter.

8 replies, 1358 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply 7 tactics for staying warm in a cool house (Original post)
NeoGreen Jan 2019 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2019 #1
TexasTowelie Jan 2019 #2
safeinOhio Jan 2019 #3
mahina Jan 2019 #4
NeoGreen Jan 2019 #6
littlemissmartypants Jan 2019 #5
akraven Jan 2019 #7
Kaleva Jan 2019 #8

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 06:00 PM

1. There's an awful lot of exposed leg

above the legwarmers and the slippers. I wonder why that person isn't wearing long pants.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 06:00 PM

2. Tip #8:

When my hands are cold, I stick them in my cat's belly fur. She appreciates the attention and my hands feel great since the normal body temperature for a cat is 104 degrees.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 06:59 PM

3. 2 years ago I bought a large, thick

sleeping bag at a yard sale for five bucks. Took it to the big machine at the laundry mat and washed the hell out of it. One of my better buys. Wrap up in it where ever I am in the house and I feel a chill.

I also bought 10 space blankets on amazon for $15. They work great to.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 07:16 PM

4. Holy cow. We lived on the continent and if we didn't have the heat on i would have thought we would

Have died. Being from Hawaii it was hard already. I remember drawing a bath just to be warm for a little while but freezing to dive in bed. I dont know how you survive but appreciate the tips, because now that were back in the islands, I get cold when its 60 degrees.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahina (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 08:44 PM

6. A lot of it is acclimation...

...helped by our full length fall here to give us time before winter sets in and, for me, having spent a few years in northern ND.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2019, 07:59 PM

5. My adjustments include

1) A heated mattress pad and electric blanket
2) A full length down robe and
3) the knowledge that we burn more calories when cold and could stand to lose a few pounds
4) cozying up with two fur babies the bonus being the oxytocin from the snuggles

I've also done things like patch gaps and hang heavy drapes to block drafts, I also only heat (and in the summer, cool) spaces I actually live in by keeping doors closed and hanging curtains in doorways using tension rods in door jams to block drafts. Hooded bed jackets and socks are cozy additions, lots of warm fuzzy socks.

Warm Things Quilted Down Robe

?v=1541454503
https://warmthingsonline.com/products/robe

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2019, 02:16 AM

7. Interior Alaskan with wool allergy reporting in!

IF you can, install a Toyo Stove. Extremely efficient, and the smallest one warms about 800 sq. ft. We keep ours turned to 68 day and 62 night. Our kettle is always ready to go, and I fully agree with the hot drinks - tea, cocoa, coffee, soups, etc.

The rice and sock thing WORKS. Also, if in very dry climate like ours, so does keeping the kettle on warm for the steam.

Another big thing is - layered up of course - spend more time outside!

Great tips, NeoGreen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 03:23 AM

8. I spent one winter with the t-stat set much of the time at 55 F.



From a post I made back in May of 2013:

"My gas bill for the past 12 months has averaged out to $34.50 a month. That's for heat, cooking and hot water. I might sign up for the budget plan for that soon. "

Another comment I made here back in October of 2012:

"My gas bill for September was the same as it was in August and that was $17.31. Looking at the long range forecast for the rest of this month, I don't expect my gas bill for October to be much higher as I've adjusted to living in the house with temps in the low to mid 50's. Occasionally, I'll turn on the furnace in the evening and run the temp up to 63 and when it hits that, I'll shut the furnace off again and turn on the electric space heater in the living room at low to maintain temp till I go to bed when i shut that off too. "

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread