18 Tips on How to Keep a Room Warm in Winter (You might not like 16)

Days are getting shorter…and colder! Want to know how to keep a room warm in winter? Then read on!

Wood stoves are a great economical way to keep your house warm this winter. However, when those polar vortexes scream down from the north, it can be a challenge for them to keep up with the cold.

During the day when you’re at work or at night when you’re huddled up under the blankets, you have to throttle down the stove to keep it from going out.

Any little thing that you can do to preserve heat keeps you warm in winter, reduces your heating bills, and makes you feel more comfortable.

1. Change the direction of your ceiling fan

In the summer, your ceiling fans work by blowing air down. Moving air across your skin helps evaporate sweat which cools your body.

In a cold room in winter, reversing your fan draws cold air up the middle of the room, displacing the heated air that has risen to the ceiling and forcing it back down the walls to the lower levels of the room.

Of course, to do this, your ceiling fans need to have a reverse feature!

2. Make sure your furniture does not cover ventilation ducts

It’s tough to keep your house warm if all the warm air from your forced air heat get’s stuck under the couch. Plan your furniture placement so that the heat can flow easily into open spaces and warm the room rather than the bottom of the couch.

3. Try a Fireplace Plug

If you have a fireplace that you don’t use, heat might be going right up the chimney. consider getting a fireplace plug to reduce heat loss.

4. Hang heavy, durable window curtains

Windows vary in quality and energy efficiency, but clearly, even triple-pane glass doesn’t insulate as well as a wall. Even if they aren’t drafty, glass radiates temperature significantly more than walls. Just put your hand against the glass and wall and feel the cold. Brrr…

An extra layer of insulation in the form of heavy drapes, curtains, or even window quilts helps prevent heat from escaping out the windows.

5. Use the Oven

You bake a lot of things at 350 degrees. Keeping that oven going for several hours adds another heat source and helps keep your house warm. 

Casseroles, home-made bread, and pies not only taste and smell great in winter, but extra heat from the oven does help raise the home’s temperature.

6. Invite People Over for a Party

Since you’ve got all these baked goods kicking around the kitchen, invite a bunch of friends over for a party! Talk about free heat!

Every person is a 98.6 degree little heater, and the more of them you have around the house, the more sources you have heating the house.

Thanksgiving is a big holiday in my family and our house is the place to be. We’ve had a few COLD days over the weekend, but with a dozen (or more!) family members kicking around the house, it’s kept our home warm!

7. Service Your Heating System

If you have a wood stove, be sure you clean your chimney, stove pipe, and check your catalytic converter. 

If you have a central heating system or HVAC system like forced hot water or air, replacing your furnace filter, (both the fuel and the air filter) cleaning the jets, and just checking to see if your furnace is running efficiently can not only keep you warmer but can also reduce heating costs.

Although it will cost a bit of money to have your furnace filter changed, in the long run you will be saving money for heat over the course of a long winter.

8. Close Dampers

Heat rises. And chimneys are designed to take advantage of this fact by exhausting smoke up out of your house.

When not in use, however, open dampers send heated air right up the chimney, significantly contributing to heat loss. 

So after the burn, close up those dampers in winter!

9. Close off unused rooms

If you have a spare bedroom, den, or office that you don’t use often, close the door and focus your heating energy on keeping only the parts of your house warm that you use.

Be sure that you don’t have any plumbing in those rooms, though, or keep them just warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing.

10. Cut down on small drafts

I grew up in an old farmhouse and drafts were everywhere! Windows, doors, and even the walls seemed to just wave that cold air right into the house. When the wind blew on those cold winter nights it was strong enough to make a candle flame dance.

We did as much as we could to limit the drafts. We put an old blanket down at the bottom of each door. And we shrink wrapped the windows. When we got more creative, we sewed up fabric tubes, stuffed them the balsam fir needles and called them “draft dodgers!”

11. Throw a throw rug in rooms with cold floors

Rooms without carpets can make for cold feet! (Unless of course, you have the LL Bean Wicked Good Slippers!)

But even with wicked good slippers sometimes area rugs do wonders to help keep the feet warm. 

And you don’t need to cover every square foot of the room, but consider putting rugs in the places where you stand (like the sinks) at least for the winter season.

12. Install a smart thermostat

You can’t save energy by completely turning off the heat when you’re not home because it takes more energy to heat the house back up, but you can certainly lower your heating bill by automatically regulating the thermostat.

The department of energy says that for every degree you turn down your thermostat for an 8 hour span, you save 1% energy bills. So lowering your thermostat from 70 to 60 during the day when no one’s home can save 10%! 

A programmable thermostat connecting to your HVAC system can do this automatically. Which is great because not only do you do not have to think about it, but you can program it so that the heating kicks on and has the house up to temperature by the time you get home from work or when you get up after those cold nights.

For example, have the thermostat set to kick up from 60 to 68 in the morning for an hour or so as you get ready for work, then go back down, then kick back up for those hours after you come home from work but before you go to bed.

13. Get a backdraft damper for your kitchen hood 

Oven hoods are great for exhausting greasy cooking fumes to the outside. But with the fumes goes the warm air. Check to see if you have a backdraft damper to help keep your house warm when your stove fan isn’t running.

14. Use window treatments

My grandmother was an expert at this…year-round. In the summer she would open the curtains and windows at night to let in the cool air flow inside. In the morning on sunny days, she would close the windows and drapes to keep the hot air and bright sun out.

In cold weather, she would do the opposite. (Well…except for the open window part!). But, in the winter months, she opened the drapes during the day to let in the sun, which would warm up the wood floors. 

In the late afternoon, she would close up the drapes to keep the cold air coming in off the windows away from the main room.

At my house growing up, we had window quilts to help the wood stove maintain heat. (This helped with the heating bills as well since the furnace didn’t have to kick on at night when the temperature dropped.)

15. Check your weather stripping

You can also reduce drafts by checking your door jambs.

Weather stripping is that rubber stuff just on the inside of your door. When you close the door it compresses the weatherstripping against the door jamb and prevents cold air from leaking into your living space.

Check your weatherstripping by looking at the seam between your external doors and walls. Can you see light through there? If light’s getting through so is cold air.

Next, feel around the door jamb for drafts. If you can feel cold air, then you can prevent heat loss with this winter project!

16. Exercise

This might not actually keep your house warm…but it helps you stay warm! Working out not only raises your body temperature but also increases your metabolism. (Which not only keeps you warm even after your workout but also helps burn off all those extra baked goods you made when your fired up the oven!)

I will work out all winter long, even on the cold days. I often start with a sweatshirt and a hat on, but as I warm up, I take off layers. by the end, I’ve got a sweat going and stay warm for hours afterward!

17. Preheat the Bed

Those sheets can be awfully chilly when first climbing into bed! A good trick to stay warm in winter is to fill a hot water bottle (or several) and put it under the covers a half an hour or so before you go to bed. 

While you are going through your evening routine, the bottle works at heating up those chilly percale sheets so they’re nice and toasty warm when it’s bedtime!

18. Add Insulation

Adding insulation to the walls might be unrealistic…I mean who has the resources to rip out all the walls and start over?

However, if you have an unfinished attic, adding loft insulation might be a relatively easy project that will save money in the long run.

And since hot air rises, all that heat you generate to keep yourself warm in winter might be going through the roof! 

One good way to quickly check your loft insulation is to look at your roof from the outside after half an inch or so of snow. If you can see a pattern of melt lines on your roof then you know that heat is radiating up through the rafters. Adding insulation to the floor of the attic will help keep the warm air below the attic and in your house. 


Most of these tips by themselves won’t make a big difference. You probably won’t be able to heat a 3000 square foot house with a candle. But just by using a smart thermostat, you could reduce heat costs by 10%. Install some window treatments to reflect heat and keep a little more warm air inside instead of letting it escape.

And for a bonus? During the summer save on air conditioning as well!

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