Need a little extra something to keep you warm this year? Your home, whether it is a house, condo or an apartment in one of Cincinnati’s retirement communities, probably has all the winterizing basics down, but there are a few extra steps you can take to improve on those standards.
Consider five additional ways you can keep the cold out and, maybe, lower your heating bills at the same time.
1. Snake the Doors and Windows
As in a draft snake— or that’s what Apartment Therapy calls them, at least.
You may be more familiar with the phrase “draft blocker,” but the concept is the same— the idea is to push something against the crevice at the bottom of your doors and windows to keep the draft out.
There are plenty of products that are available specifically for this purpose, but, in a pinch, you can roll up a towel, instead. One word of caution, avoid placing these snakes in high traffic areas, especially at night. You might trip over one in front of your bedroom door, for instance, when getting up to go to the bathroom.
An electric blanket or mattress pad is a cost-effective choice to help keep out the winter chill. There are few things to consider before you make a purchase, however.
- Examine the blanket or pad regularly for frayed areas and exposed wires. Don’t use it unless it is in good shape.
- If you have diabetes, don’t sleep with an electric blanket or pad on. As the condition tends to cause nerve damage, especially in the extremities, you may not know if the device becomes too hot. You can warm up your bed with it, but turn it off before lying down.
- If you have a pacemaker, talk to your doctor before using an electrified blanket or pad. Chances are it is fine, but there is a possibility that the current could interfere with your medical devices.
3. Dress the Bed for the Season
Retirement communities will take care of things like weather stripping and storm windows, but if the bedroom is still cold, invest in a down comforter and flannel sheets. Warm bed linen may be all it takes to keep you comfortable during the cold nights.
If you’re not a fan of flannel, keep the fitted cotton sheet, but lose the flat sheet to avoid having that cold fabric press up against your body all night. Instead, substitute an extra blanket to add a layer of insulation.
4. Dress Yourself for the Season
It’s common sense– if you’re cold, put on a sweater. Dressing in layers seals in body heat. That means putting on leggings and a t-shirt under your regular clothes or sweat suit. If your feet get cold at night, wear one or two pairs of socks to bed.
Purchase a flannel robe and warm slippers for those cold trips to the bathroom, too, and keep them within arm’s reach when you sleep. That way, as you get up, your feet go into the slippers before touching the floor.
5. Turn the Fans Around
If you are lucky enough to have ceiling fans, you can use them in the winter to help keep you warm! During the summer, ceiling fans turn counter-clockwise to pull the warm air up. In the winter, you can just switch the direction of your blades. Look for a switch on the side or bottom of the fan base. This allows you to reverse the direction of the fan blades, so they turn clockwise to push warm air down and circulate it throughout the house.
Good retirement communities will do the heavy lifting when it comes to winterizing. All that is left for you to do is apply some common sense to keeping yourself or someone you love warm.