Surviving Without Heat

 

It’s cold outside, but Winter is a great time to save money on utilities. Unlike Summer when, here in Texas at least, air conditioning is practically mandatory, there are several ways to stay warm at home throughout the winter without cranking up that heater. Maybe you’ve found yourself without electricity or with a broken furnace for a short time, as well. Here are a few tips to stay warm and happy this winter with no heat:

Reduce as much heat loss as possible

Put blankets over all the windows and outside doors, and bean bag draft busters at the base of every door.  Shut off as many outside doors as you can to porches or the garage.  Close off any rooms you aren’t using and put draft busters at the bottoms of those doors.  This creates an air buffer zone that will help reduce temperature fluctuations.

Adding Insulation Supercharges Your Walls

Check your insulation. Insulated walls and windows are standard these days, but if you have an older home, you may need to add some insulation. Heat rises, so it’s important to insulate the ceiling especially well. If you have an attic, insulating it, and even filling the space with storage, can help keep the heat from escaping.

Dress warmly!

This is not the time to run around in your bathing suit. Go with socks, gloves, hats, tights, sweaters, and coats. Pick your favorite most comfortable sweaters and pants.  At a time like this being cozy is of utmost importance. Body heat is a beautiful thing when you need to keep warm. Keep it.  You can increase your body heat with activity.  Do some jumping jacks or run in place.

Eat warming foods.

Soup is your friend. Warm spices such as red pepper, ginger, cinnamon will also help you feel warmer.  Now is not the time to worry about calories.  There are reasons that winter seasons come with hearty, rich foods.  If ever there was a time to thoroughly appreciate a hot meal, this is it.

Keep Warm Safely

Be careful about using alternative heating sources.  Carbon monoxide will kill you a lot faster than being cold will.  Don’t use propane or outdoor barbecues in enclosed spaces.  Get a carbon monoxide detector. Also, be careful with candles or other open flames to avoid fire hazards.