Condo Blues: Five Unusual Ways to Keep Warm in a Cold House

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Five Unusual Ways to Keep Warm in a Cold House

Welcome Weather Channel viewers! This morning I did another 58 Degree Challenge interview on The Weather Channel. I talked about how my family stays toasty warm in snowy Ohio with our daytime thermostat set at 58 degrees (F). Here are five ways we stay warm in a cold house.

1. Dress in layers. Sweaters are good but fleece layered over another long sleeved shirt is my favorite. I must have ice water running through my veins because I get cold more easily than Husband. I sometimes wear long underwear under my clothes too. Not only at home but sometimes in cold office buildings. Because like I said before, I get cold easily.

2. Heat rooms with passive solar heat. I have thermal window shades that I open on the windows on the south side of my house. The sun shine heats our bedroom up enough that we don't need to use an extra space heater for that room. At night I close the insulated window shades to keep the heat in the room during the evening. You can buy thermal shades or curtains. I decided to make insulated roman shades. I was surprised that I could use passive solar heat because 51% of the days of the year in Central Ohio are overcast. This is good because:

  • It's free heat!
  • We don't have to worry about potential for space heater accidents.
Notice how gray rope caulk seals small air leaks around my double paned windows. I remove it during the summer so we can open the windows.

3. Seal air leak and air drafts. It’s easy and inexpensive to seal air leaks and air drafts. It is something we all know we should do but don’t. It’s the number one way we stay warm in a 58 degree house because it guarentees that our heat stays instead the house! Weather-stripping, caulk, and draft blockers aren’t a sexy or a wacky way to keep warm but they are inexpensive tools and they work. There are temporary options you can use if you rent.

3. Use your computer as a space heater. One strange way we keep warm is with our desktop computers! I work at home and my computer processor puts out enough heat that it acts like a little space heater under my desk. Don’t worry folks, I built my computer with an Energy Star rated processor so it uses less electricity to run its powerful processor. I installed more cooling fans in the case than the processor requires to insure that the processor doesn’t overheat. That’s why it is so surprising that my computer gives off so much heat. When Husband is working on his desktop computer (which he built) the room is toasty warm. This is great during the winter and but a challenge to keep cool during the summer!

A warm campfire? There's an app for that!

4. Drink hot drinks. It’s strange but I noticed that I got colder when I drank juice or water during the day, so I enjoy hot drinks throughout the day instead such as coffee, homemade flavored coffee drinks, or tea. A glass of mulled wine or hot toddy in the evening doesn’t hurt either.

5. Snuggling with that special someone. My favorite way to keep warm in a cold house is to watch TV cuddling under a throw with Blitzkrieg, our double coated dog, on my lap. His favorite TV show is Bones.

Blitzkrieg is warmer than a Snuggie!

How do you stay warm during winter?

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