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) BEST WAYS to STAY WARM in a WINTER POWER OUTAGE

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) Winter Home Hacks Everyone Should Know

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.

25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (5)

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.

25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Warm in Winter (6)

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) FREE HEAT FOREVER! (DIY)

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) 5 Cheap & Affordable Ways to Keep Your Home Warm During the Winter!

  • 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 make my house warmer without a heater? ›

10 Ways to Warm Up at Home Without Turning on the Heat
  1. Close up any cracks in your window frame. ...
  2. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. ...
  3. Invest in the best blankets. ...
  4. Make your curtains work harder. ...
  5. Use draft stoppers on your doors. ...
  6. Cover your floors with rugs. ...
  7. Prevent drafts around electric outlets.
18 Dec 2015

Do candles heat 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.

How can I stay warm 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

How can I make a heater without electricity? ›

Metal Can, Alcohol and Toilet Paper Emergency Heater

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. The emergency heater can burn for over an hour and does an excellent job of heating the air.

What is the cheapest form of heating? ›

Once you have made sure that heat loss from a room is kept to a minimum, gas central heating is generally your cheapest option. If that's not possible, then consider using an oil-filled heater for larger rooms or an electric heater for small areas if you're willing to use it in short bursts.

Do rugs make a room warmer? ›

In regions where winters are extreme and/or last for a long time, rugs are one of the most trusted ways to keep the room warm, besides beautifying the space. In fact, you can place an area rug for home if your floor always feels cold or even if you simply want to feel extra warmth under your feet all the time.

How much heat does a candle put out? ›

Heat is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). A single candle produces anywhere from 75 to 85 BTU, which we'll average to 80 for our calculations.

What type of heater is cheapest to run? ›

Generally speaking, Halogen heaters are one of the most inexpensive types of electric heater. They average around 1200W in terms of power output and because they provide instant-heat at close quarters, you shouldn't need to leave them on for long periods of time.

Do they make heaters that run off batteries? ›

Battery based heaters, or hand warmers, are a great portable option for sporting events, camping, or being outdoors during cold weather. The heaters are safe to operate and can usually hold a charge for 8 to 12 hours.

Will boiling water heat a room? ›

So boiling water will heat the room more slowly than simply turning on the gas stove. That said, there is a way in which boiling water might feel like it heats the room faster: it increases the humidity in the room. Increased humidity inhibits evaporation of sweat and makes a room feel hotter even when it isn't.

How much heat does a tea light give off? ›

One tea candle can produce around 30 watts of heat, which means that you need at least 20 to 30 tea candles to heat a very small room (and replace them every 3 to 4 hours).

Can a candle in your car keep you from freezing? ›

A candle produces a great deal of heat, Mann said. It can be used to help keep the inside of the car warm, but Mann cautioned to burn the candle inside of the coffee can and to open one window slightly. ''You have to be very careful not to start a fire in the car,'' Mann said.

Is there a solar powered heater? ›

Picking Out a Solar Space Heater

Solar Infra Systems is one of the most popular solar space heater manufacturers. Their portable interior/exterior heater has a small solar panel that can be mounted to an exterior wall, on a window, or placed on an accompanying stand.

How long will a house stay warm without power? ›

The average home will stay warm for 8-12 hours after the power goes out. After the first 8-12 hours, most homes will experience a gradual cooling over the course of the next couple of days.

What is the most efficient heat source? ›

Geothermal systems provide the most efficient type of heating. They can cut heating bills by up to 70 percent. Like other types of heat pumps, they are also very safe and environmentally friendly to operate.

What do you do when you lose your heat in the winter? ›

What to Do If You Lose Heat in Winter
  1. Pick a Room and Stick Together. ...
  2. Bundle up and Break Out Other Heating Options. ...
  3. Eliminate Drafts as Best as You Can. ...
  4. Don't Wait—Call for Furnace Repair Service Right Away.
19 Feb 2019

Are electric blankets expensive to run? ›

This means that running an electric blanket for one hour would cost just over 1.5 cents (in September 2022). Based on this, running an electric blanket overnight will cost you around 12 cents (based on 8 hours of use), which is significantly cheaper than having your central heating on all night.

How do you make a homemade heating pad? ›

Take an old, clean sock and fill it three-quarters full with uncooked rice, corn barley, or oatmeal. Tie or sew it shut and heat it in the microwave for 1–2 minutes. To prevent burns, always test a heating pad on the inside of the arm before applying it to the affected area.

How can I heat a large room cheaply? ›

10 Cheap Ways To Heat A Room
  1. Use A Small Space Heater. GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater. ...
  2. Try Insulated Curtains. ...
  3. Apply Heat Under The Covers. ...
  4. Consider A Heated Blanket. ...
  5. Wrap Yourself In A Blanket Scarf. ...
  6. Apply A Door Draft Stopper. ...
  7. Cover Bare Floors With A Rug. ...
  8. Hang A Shelf Above A Radiator.
3 Oct 2020

What temperature should I leave my heating on overnight? ›

Not only is it okay to leave the heater on all night, it can save you money. Here's the secret: Set the temperature of your home at least eight degrees lower for the eight hours or so that you sleep at night. Every degree you lower the thermostat can net you an estimated 1% off your heating bill.

Is it cheaper to heat one room or the whole house? ›

In larger homes, a small room may be worth heating individually if it's less than a quarter of the size of the whole house, although there's less benefit if your house is well-insulated.

Where does a house lose most heat? ›

6 Areas Of Your Home Where You Lose The Most Heat
  1. Basement Walls and Floors. 20% of home heat is lost through basement walls. ...
  2. Cracks in Walls, Windows and Doors. ...
  3. Poorly Insulated Windows. ...
  4. Framed Walls. ...
  5. Ceilings. ...
  6. Exterior Doors.

Can a cold house make you sick? ›

Cold air inflames lungs and inhibits circulation, increasing the risk of respiratory conditions, such as asthma attacks or symptoms, worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and infection.

Does closing curtains keep heat in? ›

Close your curtains at night

This results in energy losses of 50-100 watts per square metre, equivalent to running an old-fashioned light bulb. The best way to prevent this heat loss is to close your curtains and lower your blinds immediately after dusk.

What's the coldest you can keep your house? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 64 degrees (F) in the Winter months while people are in the home. If there are infants or elderly individuals, they recommend keeping the temperature at 70 degrees at a minimum.

What kind of rug is warmest? ›

Warm wool rugs are the best choice during winter

The added soft texture on your ground also has a much more pleasant feeling for your feet than a cold tile. A durable warm wool rug can be a necessity for your house if you have hard floors. Wool rugs are great insulators and give that soft cosy feeling under your feet.

Does having furniture in a room make it warmer? ›

Empty rooms are always colder

It may seem a bit odd, but it's a simple climatic principle. Air heats and cools faster than objects, but it doesn't retain the temperature. Furniture, curtains, clothes, and decorations absorb heat and then re-radiate it into the air, making it warmer.

How can I stay warm 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

How warm should your house be in the winter? ›

The ideal thermostat temperature in the winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you're at home. Energy.gov suggests that 68 degrees is a good room temperature while you're awake at home but recommends lowering it while you're asleep or away.

Is it cheaper to use electric heaters or gas? ›

electric heating cost is much cheaper. A single kilowatt-hour (kWh) unit of gas costs around 4.65p, whereas the average price for a kWh of electricity is more than 20p.

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.

What is the cheapest form of heating? ›

Once you have made sure that heat loss from a room is kept to a minimum, gas central heating is generally your cheapest option. If that's not possible, then consider using an oil-filled heater for larger rooms or an electric heater for small areas if you're willing to use it in short bursts.

How do people survive in a power outage in the winter? ›

Winter Power Outage Tips & Tricks to Stay Warm
  1. Prepare an Emergency Kit. ...
  2. Stock Up on Food & Water. ...
  3. Get Ready for Power Surges. ...
  4. Use Crayons in Lieu of Candles. ...
  5. Bring Solar Lights Inside. ...
  6. Keep the Freezer Closed (Leverage Cold Weather) ...
  7. Use Your Car to Charge Devices. ...
  8. Store Hand Warmers.
27 Dec 2021

How do people survive without heat in winter? ›

How to Stay Warm at Home Without a Heater
  1. Close all of your windows properly. ...
  2. Use cheap clear shower curtains over the windows that receive sun light. ...
  3. Put up curtains. ...
  4. Seal your doors. ...
  5. Let as much sun hit your house as possible. ...
  6. Close off any unused rooms. ...
  7. Put down a rug or carpet.

How much heat does a candle put out? ›

Heat is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). A single candle produces anywhere from 75 to 85 BTU, which we'll average to 80 for our calculations.

How cold is too cold for a 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.

Can a cold house make you sick? ›

Cold air inflames lungs and inhibits circulation, increasing the risk of respiratory conditions, such as asthma attacks or symptoms, worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and infection.

What temperature should I leave my heating on overnight? ›

Not only is it okay to leave the heater on all night, it can save you money. Here's the secret: Set the temperature of your home at least eight degrees lower for the eight hours or so that you sleep at night. Every degree you lower the thermostat can net you an estimated 1% off your heating bill.

Is it better to leave heating on low all day? ›

According to experts at the Energy Saving Trust, the idea it's cheaper to leave the heating on low all day is a myth. They're clear that having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, the best way to save energy, and therefore money.

What type of heater is cheapest to run? ›

Generally speaking, Halogen heaters are one of the most inexpensive types of electric heater. They average around 1200W in terms of power output and because they provide instant-heat at close quarters, you shouldn't need to leave them on for long periods of time.

Is it cheaper to heat one room or the whole house? ›

In larger homes, a small room may be worth heating individually if it's less than a quarter of the size of the whole house, although there's less benefit if your house is well-insulated.

Videos

1. How to Keep Warm If There Is No Heat in Your House
(Howcast)
2. 10 Things You MUST BUY NOW Before Winter! What to do when power out.
(Living On A Dime To Grow Rich)
3. Lower Your Home Heating Costs This Winter With These Tips
(TODAY)
4. 25 HACKS TO STAY WARM AND COZY THIS WINTER
(5-Minute Crafts DIY)
5. What's The Best Heat Source in 2022? Top 5 Home Heating Methods - LP Electric NG Geothermal Fuel Oil
(Benjamin Sahlstrom)
6. Unheated Greenhouse Troubles. Our Solution!
(Living Traditions Homestead)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated: 01/06/2023

Views: 6426

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.