Written by Erin Weaver | Photo by Sierra Pedro
- Find drafts – and seal ‘em!
You could pay a heating company to locate all the drafty points in your house, but there’s also a cheaper, more thrifty option: burn a stick of incense near windows and doors and in rooms that seem particularly cold. If the smoke is drifting to the side, there’s a draft that can be plugged! Common culprits are the spaces around electrical outlets and the strip underneath the front door, which both have low cost solutions (the cheapest of which involves sealing a space with good ol’ masking tape).
- Seal windows by locking them
Don’t let sneaky cold air twist its way inside; lock all windows so that the pane is pressed tightly against the frame, barring the cold air from slipping in. Unlocked windows, however closed they are, often create cold air leaks.
- Let that ceiling fan run
This might seem counterintuitive, but letting a ceiling fan run at a low speed allows the warm air trapped by your ceiling to drift down to where you can actually feel it. Some fans even have a setting for this; check to see if your ceiling fan is able to run in the reverse direction, which is specially designed to recirculate warm air.
- Install plastic film over windows
It may not be the prettiest solution, but fitting plastic film over windows helps to insulate the room and trap warm air inside. The film is available at any home improvement store for a low price, and peels off easily come springtime.
- Splurge on blankets
Anyone in the heating game knows the most age-old trick of all: burying one’s self under a mountain of blankets. Rather than crank the thermostat, the cheapest solution to the wintertime blues is to invest in blankets, which let you create a bubble of warmth without spending the money to heat up the whole house.
- Let the light in
Though perhaps more absent than we’d like during the winter, the sun is extremely effective at heating spaces if you leave the curtains open. Roll up those blinds as the sun makes its brief appearance – and seal them up again when it dips into night.
- Utilize portable heaters
Why pay to heat the whole house when you can just heat the room you’re in? Set up camp in the living room or bedroom with a space heater, which warm small rooms cheaply and effectively. Bring your freezing roommates along so you can gather ‘round the heater like a makeshift campfire and pray to the god that is electricity.