7 tips for staying warm


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While the weather outside is frightful, you can stay cozy without turning up the heat.

Winter can be beautiful, but arctic winds and plummeting temperatures can chill even the most intrepid among us. Here are seven tips for staying warm and cozy at home this winter without turning up the thermostat.

Change the ceiling fan direction for winter

Ceiling fans move warmer air downward when they turn clockwise. If your fan direction isn’t set for winter, changing it is simple. With the fan off and the blades motionless, use a ladder so you reach the switch on the motor housing. Flip it to the opposite direction. When you turn the fan back on, you’ll feel the difference.

Use a programmable thermostat for temperature control

A programmable thermostat can make your house more comfortable. When set to your schedule, it will warm the house just before you wake or return home—and lower the temp when you’re asleep or away.

The U.S. Department of Energy says lowering the temperature 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day can save as much as 10%. Plus, cooler temps at night (60-70°F) will help you get a better night’s sleep.

If you’d rather not fuss with programming, a smart thermostat will learn from your habits and program itself.

Cozy up with a throw blanket

In these days of social distancing, wrapping up in a snuggly throw blanket is like giving yourself a big hug. A traditional or electric throw blanket keeps heat right where you want it. Additionally, a throw blanket that reflects your style can add a much-needed pop of color to the gray winter months.

Drink something warm

Warm up from the inside out with a cup of hot tea, coffee, cocoa or even a hot toddy. Using a non-insulated mug allows the heat to warm your hands directly.

In many cultures, making tea or hot chocolate is treated as a ceremonial ritual that brings a break from the fast pace of life while the activity itself can warm you. Why not create a ritual of your own?

Install insulated curtains

Touch the glass on even the best-insulated windows and you’ll feel the chilling effect of our Michigan winter weather. Insulated curtains can reduce heat loss up to 10%.

The U.S. Department of Energy says you can maximize the effectiveness of drapery by installing a cornice to the top of the drapery or placing the drapery against the ceiling; sealing the drapery at both sides; and overlapping it in the center. Velcro or magnetic tape can be used to seal the drapes at the sides and bottom. These steps may reduce heat loss up to 25%.

Warm up with home cooking

While you should never try to heat your home with a stove or oven as the heat source, cooking at home will add to the heat of your living space. Plus, baking bread or simmering a pot of chili will provide hours of delicious aromas while cooking.

Check out recipes from our members in our Cooking with Consumers recipe book for some tried-and-true comfort food.

Layer your clothes

Outdoor enthusiasts and hunters have long known that the key to staying warm in cold weather is layering. While outside, they wear a base, middle and outer layer. Inside, two layers do the trick. (In the house, there’s no need for an outer layer to keep out wind, rain and snow.)

The purpose of the base layer is to wick moisture away from your skin. Polyester and silk work well as a first layer. Your second layer is for insulation. Think sweaters, sweatshirts and fleece. Wool, cashmere and down are all good fibers for holding body heat in.

And, it’s okay to wear a hat indoors! Rock one with big pompom or choose a simple beanie—either way you’ll stay warmer.

Learn layering basics from REI and get deep-freeze layering tips from The Planet.

Use these tips to stay warm and cozy this winter. And, remember that the official start of  spring is only three months away!

Consumers helps more than 2,000 members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800-991-2221.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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  1. P says:

    I do supplement my heat in my home by using tea kettle w water and in an emergency very short term use stove to take away chill as my furnace pilot uses a stove burners amount of gas so I’m reluctant to have furnace on early fall or late spring and I have many plants inside.

  2. Barb Markley says:

    warm slippers and warm socks work great. If you keep your feet warm it helps the rest of you stay warm.

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