9 Winter Hacks for a Warmer House Without Turning Up the Heat


Do you know any hacks for a warmer house?

During the winter months, your house should be a cozy shelter against harsh outdoor temperatures. Bumping up your thermostat is one way to make your home warmer, but that can obviously lead to skyrocketing energy bills.

To keep your energy costs down without giving up comfort, look for alternative ways to weatherize and warm your house in the winter. Permanent fixes include checking your attic’s insulation and installing new windows. Quick, inexpensive measures are things like letting the sun’s warmth in when the sky’s blue or purchasing a door draft stopper.

This being said, we think most of us need saving some money these days, so here are some hacks for a warmer house! Let’s get started!

hacks for a warmer house
Photo by Bastian Weltjen from Shutterstock

1. Ensure heating vents are open and not blocked

One of the first hacks for a warmer house you need to do is make sure vents are open and not blocked. By the way, it’s a myth that closing them will save money by not heating unused rooms.

According to Bailey Carson, a home care expert with Angi, your house’s HVAC system was chosen specifically for your house—including all of its rooms—so no matter how many vents are open, the system will still generate the same amount of hot air.

Moreover, experts warn that fully closing vents can actually make your system overwork, which will eventually result in damage and higher energy bills. Partially closing them may be a better option that will help pump air into the right areas, but make sure you leave them at least 25% open.

In any case, one of the best hacks for a warmer house is to help your heating system work as efficiently as possible. The easiest way to do that is to ensure warm-air vents, radiators, or other heaters around your house aren’t blocked. Also, move any curtains, furniture, or rugs obstructing the airflow.

You should also aim to keep these areas clean and replace your furnace filter to prevent dust buildup.

Pro Tip: An air filter subscription service can help you stay on a regular maintenance schedule.

2. Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats give you more control over your house’s temperature throughout the day, so you don’t have to worry about keeping it at 68°F around the clock. It’s one of the best hacks for a warmer house that will literally change your life!

You can keep your home warmer while you’re awake, then set the thermostat to automatically lower the temperature during the night or other times when no one is home. With this device, you can schedule the temperature to return to normal before you wake up or come back home, so you’re not stepping into a cold house.

If you want to have even more control over your house’s temperature, go for a smart thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature from your phone, even if you’re not home. It’s one of the best hacks for a warmer house that can save you tons on heating costs.

3. Insulate windows with bubble wrap or plastic film

Bubble wrap and plastic film are surprisingly cheap and easy window insulators. Window film insulation kits include transparent shrink film that acts as a barrier around drafty windows.

The first step is to cut the plastic sheet to the size of your window. Next, apply adhesive tape around the window frame and use a hairdryer to seal the film to the tape. A great thing about this awesome trick is that the plastic peels cleanly come off at the end of the season.

If you want to use bubble wrap, choose a medium-to-large size (small bubble wrap is often too big and won’t do much to block cold air). Next, measure your windows and cut the bubble wrap to fit their sizes. Use a spray bottle to mist a thin layer of water on the window. Immediately after this step, press the bubble wrap to the window, bubbles facing the glass.

The liquid will make the bubble wrap stick and last all winter, making this one of the cheapest hacks for a warmer house.

Photo by Andrey_Popov from Shutterstock

4. Add a door draft stopper

Cold air can easily seep in through doorways, but a draft guard can help. Often weighted with sand and covered in fabric, these handy items are placed in front doors to prevent cold air from finding its way into your home. As one of the most popular hacks for a warmer house, you just have to buy a draft stopper and let it do its job.

You can even make your own if you want. Cut a length of fabric to fit your doorway, sew it into a tube, then fill it with whatever stuffing you want before sewing it shut.

A draft stopper, whether it’s store-bought or a DIY version, won’t eliminate the cool breeze that gets in when the door is open, but it will help while the door is closed.

Read on to find other great hacks for a warmer house!

5. Seal your windows

When it comes to windows, another thing you can do is seal them. To keep the draft out and your house warmer, weatherstrip and replace old caulking.

Before you do this, make sure you remove any deteriorating caulk from the window frame. Next, with a caulk gun (Amazon has a wide selection), slowly run a bead of caulk down the seam of the window. Use your finger to smooth the caulk to finish the job. If you want to step up the game, seal the interior of your windows, too.

Experts say that, if your windows are due for an upgrade, one of the best hacks for a warmer house is swapping them out for insulated or storm windows to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

6. Put your ceiling fan on reverse

This is an often-overlooked trick. According to experts, your ceiling fan runs clockwise during the summer to drag the air up and keep you cool. However, fans can be helpful during the winter months as well to keep your home warm.

As one of the easiest hacks for a warmer house, all you have to do is set your ceiling fan to run counter-clockwise, and it will circulate the air and help pull warm air down to where you can feel it.

7. Boost insulation

Although this step may be slightly more involved, checking your insulation as winter temperatures approach is one of the smartest hacks for a warmer house. This being said, if you haven’t inspected your insulation in a while, it may be time to take a look.

The added insulation will help manage the temperature in your home without the heat escaping through the basement or attic.

hacks for a warmer house
Photo by Ground Picture from Shutterstock

8. Open curtains on a sunny day

This housewarming trick is completely free! Before you leave for the day, make sure you check the weather. If the sun is out, open the curtains and blinds around the house to let nature heat your house for free. At night, close the curtains to stop cold air from seeping inside.

9. Keep interior doors open

No, not the doors that lead outside, obviously, but the ones throughout the interior of your house.

You may think this goes against the theory that keeping the doors to some rooms closed will mean less area to heat overall, but having those throughout your house open will allow air to circulate. This is one of the easiest hacks for a warmer house because it will help regulate the indoor temperature throughout the entire space.

However, if there are rooms that aren’t connected to your central HVAC system and are not being used, then blocking them off will definitely help keep the heat in the right areas. But when it comes to rooms where there are vents, the heat will be coming out, and keeping those internal doors will allow the warm air to circulate.

If you liked our article on hacks for a warmer house, you may also want to read Bring Your Old Fireplace to Life With These 15 Upgrades.

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