11 No-Cost or Low-Cost Tricks to Keep Your House Cozy This Winter

Vermont winters are often very cold, and trying to keep your house warm during these chilly months can become extremely costly.

There are, however, several steps you can take to try and keep your house a tad warmer and prevent cold drafts. Read below for some tips and tricks on this before the next “cold bomb” hits!

1. Keep curtains open in the day, closed at night.

Letting sunlight naturally warm your home during the day seems like a no-brainer—this is especially effective for any south-facing windows.

At night, however, all the warmth seems to go straight back out that window, so close up your curtains once it gets dark!

This will add an extra layer of insulation to your home.

2. Get honeycomb insulating shades.

Honeycomb insulating shades are a great alternative to curtains or blinds that will better insulate your home—I mean, it’s right in the name!

Combine them with interior window insulation to add a double layer of defense against the cold.

3. Move furniture that blocks the radiator.

Have a couch sitting in front of the radiator in your living room, or your daughter’s twin bed tight up against the radiator in her bedroom? Move it!

Changing the layout of your furniture may be good for some feng shui, but it’s even better for circulating the heat in your home.

If you’re the kind of person who lays out clothes to dry on the radiator (or snow boots… or gloves…), try to not leave them there too long—even your clothes will block the heat.

4. Use rubber seals around doors and windows.

Or, for an even quicker and cheaper option, use a towel or blanket at the bottom of a door to cover the gap, and tape around the edges of windows.

There are lots of handy devices out there to close the gaps and block the drafts – check them out here.

5. Close doors and vents in unused rooms.

If you want to create a heat pocket in the room(s) you spend the most time in, close off those extra spaces like the laundry room or the guest bedroom. This will help you keep heat where it’s most needed.

6. Make sure your chimney is closed off (if you don’t use it).

An open flue and draft in a home where the fireplace is never used can become a huge heat-sucker. If you’re not planning on lighting a fire anytime soon, check to make sure your chimney is closed off to prevent all that heat from escaping.

7. Cover drafty windows with a clear shower curtain.

This will allow sunlight in during the day, but will also help prevent heat loss, even if it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing choice. And don’t forget to close the curtains over it at night still!

8. Use a portable space heater.

If you want to keep your heat running relatively low, you can use a space heater next to your desk or beside you on the couch or bed to keep toasty.

9. Use rugs on uninsulated floors or tiles.

The rug will act as a heat trap and keep your bare feet from getting cold!

10. Put tinfoil behind your radiators.

This will help reflect heat back into your home instead of letting it seep out through the walls.

Check out this helpful video on how to install it in 2-3 minutes!

11. Get an energy audit!

While all of these options may help you a little here and there, there is no substitute to saving money on your heating bills than getting your home properly weatherized.

With an energy audit, your auditor will be able to tell you exactly where you’re losing all that heat from—and suggest ways to help prevent it.

The first step to weatherization is to get an energy audit, and then making necessary improvements to your home, such as added insulation in the attic and basement.

Another energy efficient measure to look into is a heat pump. Check out our blog post on why they make such a great option for heating a home in Vermont here.

Schedule yourself an energy audit today so you can really start saving and staying warm for many winters to come!

Author: Jillian Branchaud, Community Engagement AmeriCorps Member