How to Heat Your Home (Without Turning the Heater On)

A pair of socked feet in front of a fire.

Being a homeowner can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to keeping up with the bills that come knocking on your door every month. While we can’t come and pay those utility bills for you, we can provide some ways to keep down costs each month—it will be like money in your pocket! Let’s focus on heat: when the cold sets in, it might be your natural inclination to turn the furnace on and crank it up. We are here to tell you that there are several other ways to warm up your home, without ever touching the furnace switch.

Start a Fire

This may be obvious to many, but you might be surprised by how much your home will warm up with a small fire burning. Especially if your home is smaller and cozier, you’ll be in good shape with a little kindling throughout the day. Always be sure you've checked to make sure your chimney is clear, so there are no potential hazards to your loved ones.

Add Drafters to Your Doors

Have you caught onto the “sealing your home shut” theme yet? This is the same principle. In order to keep the heat in, you need to keep the cold out. It’s as simple as that. So, in an effort to keep the bitter air out, you need to get drafters installed on all of your outside doors. These are just simple rubber pads that attach to the bottom of your door to keep all the subzero temperatures out and the heat in. They're a small investment with a rewarding payout. (You can also make your own with items you probably already have at home!)

Use the Stove or Oven to Your Advantage

The inside of an oven.

I remember when I was a kid, I would wake up for school early in the morning and my mom would have the burners on the stove lit and the oven on and open. Maybe your mom did this as well, or maybe this is just a weird practice to you, but no matter what you think about it, this tactic can be effective. Those little bits of heat can make a colossal difference on the temperature in your home. However, please practice tremendous caution when using this method, especially if you have small children in the home. Extreme vigilance is required.

Seal Your Windows With Plastic Wrap

This one may seem strange or even a bit tacky, but it's pure genius. Completely covering all of your windows with plastic wrap or shrink wrap will have a similar affect that the curtains have, only it will be 10 times more effective because it uses a sort of “greenhouse” affect to heat up your home instead of your garden! You can buy kits at places like the Container Store that are specifically made for covering your windows in winter time, or simply use regular shrink wrap that you find at the grocery store. Either way, when all your windows are lined with the shrink wrap, make sure that the plastic is taut and sealed. This will give you your best chance at keeping that brisk air outside where it belongs.

Humidifier Before Furnaces

Heat and humidity tend to run in the same circle. Often when there is heat there

Heat and humidity tend to run in the same circle. Often when there is heat there is humidity and vice versa. When paired together, temperatures tend to rise rather quickly. That being said, consider turning on your humidifier rather than your furnace. The humidity will provide moisture to the air and have your place feeling like a tropical island in no time.

Hang Curtains

It’s the same idea as keeping your home cool by blocking out the sun—your curtains can provide a physical barrier between you and the cold. If you’ve ever touched your windows during the cold months, you would know that they can be bitterly freezing. All that subzero air coming off from your windows will emit into your home, making it much colder than usual. Curtains, particularly sun-blocking curtains, will block much of that cold air from entering.

Reverse Your Fan

A ceiling fan against a wood ceiling.

For those who were unaware, the fans in your home are specifically set to turn a certain way. The blades are intended to suck all the warm air up and away from you to keep you feeling cool. In the winter, it’s important to reverse the blades so the warm air is blowing downward instead of away from you. This will keep you feeling toasty and not chilly.

Before you reach for the furnace switch, consider any of these suggestions first. Just a few simple tricks can make a huge difference to the temperature in your home.