Nexstar Homes takes every step to ensure the homes we build are energy efficient in every way. Thanks to the Nexstar Advantage, our homebuyers are able to keep their homes warm as the temperatures start to drop outside.
As winter rolls around and the cool weather starts, it means many great things are coming soon. Wintertime brings with it the holiday season, more time with family and friends, and many other benefits.
But winter also brings the cold. And that means it's time to break out the jackets, beanies, gloves, and warm socks.
While all of those things are good at keeping you warm when you leave the house, what about when you’re still at home?
Learning how to keep a home warm in winter can save you money and keep you comfortable during the colder months of the year.
How to Keep Your Home Warm in Winter
The cold winter months bring lower temperatures, chilly winds, rain, snow, and other unpredictable weather. Read through these helpful tips to keep your home warm and learn different ways to stay cozy during the colder months.
If you’re wondering how to keep your home warm without electricity, there are also a handful of ideas you can use that don’t raise your utility bill.
1. Get Your Heater Serviced
The most obvious and common way to warm up your house is with the heater. But you’ll need to make sure it’s running at peak performance to work efficiently without spiking that utility bill each month.
How often should you get your heater checked? Even if you live in a brand new home, it’s a good idea to get your HVAC system serviced at least once a year. Ideally, you can have someone take a look at the unit once before summer and once before winter.
Many people also use space heaters throughout their homes to keep specific rooms warm where they spend most of their time.
2. Make Sure Your Home is Properly Sealed
Cracks in walls, as well as openings in doors or windows, will let cold air into your home. That means cold days and nights in your home, no matter how much you bundle up.
Whether you have brick, drywall, stucco, or other materials that make up your home, you’ll want to check that there are no cracks or gaps. The best way to keep your home warm is to seal these openings with caulking, mortar, cement, or other compounds that will close them up.
3. Ensure Your Attic is Insulated
One of the biggest secrets to warming up your home during winter is getting your attic properly insulated. Attics get a tremendous amount of airflow at all times of the year, which means cold air can easily sneak into your home from up above. Luckily for Nexstar homeowners, all of our homes include spray foam insulation.
There are many different types of attic insulation, ranging from loose fill to blanket insulation. They’ll all have various costs associated with them and could either be done by a professional or on your own.
4. Use Your Fireplace
One of the top ways to keep a home warm without electricity is using a fireplace. Depending on where you live, you could get some firewood for only a few dollars that could last you throughout the winter.
It’s important to always follow proper fireplace safety and maintenance procedures to keep your family and your home safe while still enjoying the nice warm benefits of a homemade fire.
Make sure the flue is closed when your fireplace is not in use to avoid the draft from getting in through the chimney.
Don’t have a fireplace? You can always buy an electric fireplace with a built-in heater. It will have an impact on your monthly electric bill but will typically be less expensive to run than your home’s heater.
5. Stock Up on Warm Blankets
As summer turns into fall and winter, it’s time to pull the big blankets out of storage. They’re the perfect resource to keep yourself warm during the day or at night while you sleep.
What type of blanket is the warmest? In general, the thicker the blanket, the better. The warmest blankets you’ll find will typically be made of wool, cotton fleece, or cashmere.
The nice thing about using blankets is that you can pile on multiple layers instead of cranking up the heater and ending up with a super high utility bill during the colder months.
6. Place Draft Stoppers Under Your Doors
Draft stoppers, also known as door snakes, are innovative tools that can be slid under your doors and prevent air from entering or escaping a room. They’re a great way to keep your home warm by stopping cold air from getting in and keeping toasty air from getting out.
If you go to any home store, you’ll be able to find draft stoppers for anywhere between $5 to $30, depending on their size and overall quality.
7. Add Rugs to Your Floors
Not only are rugs a nice accessory to boost the look of a room, but they're also useful for keeping a space warmer. Especially when you live in a home with hardwood floors, tile, vinyl, linoleum, or laminate flooring, the ground can get cold during the winter. A rug will act as a layer of insulation on your floor and help warm up the space.
If you have hard-surface floors, consider throwing down a nice rug that compliments your decor and fits the room. It’ll help keep your feet warm while also helping the space hold heat more efficiently.
8. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Using a smart thermostat has many advantages throughout the year, but they’re particularly helpful during the peak of summer and the coldest parts of winter. When it’s cold outside, and the temp starts to drop in your home, it’s tempting to raise the thermostat temperature to counteract the chill.
A programmable thermostat can be scheduled to adjust the temp throughout the day so that you don’t have to worry about the heater working overtime during certain parts of the day.
In most cases, you may want to set a different temperature at night since you’ll be able to bundle up under all of your blankets as you sleep. You can then determine what temp works best for you during the day to keep you warm as you complete everything you need to accomplish around the house.
9. Change Your Air Filters
One of the best ways to keep your home warm is to replace your home air filters regularly. Not only do these filters help with air quality, but they also keep the flow of warm air going throughout the house.
It is best to switch out your air filters at least every 90 days. If you have pets, you may want to consider switching them every 60 days or so instead.
Insider tip: While it may be tempting to buy the highest quality air filters you can find, the cheaper ones are ideal in most cases. The less mesh they have, the better the airflow will be in your home. That means that your space will more easily remain warm during the winter and cool during the summer.
10. Open Your Blinds & Curtains
New technology like Pella windows is highly-efficient at keeping the hot and cold out of homes. But there are still some additional steps you can take to boost these benefits.
If you keep your blinds or curtains open during the day, they’ll let the sunlight in and help warm up your home.
Remember to also close them at night as a way to keep the warm air in.
11. Set Your Ceiling Fans to Reverse
Have you ever heard the phrase “warm air rises and cold air sinks”? This is particularly true when it comes to the heating and cooling of a home. Believe it or not, turning on your ceiling fans can be beneficial in the process of heating up your space.
A practical way to keep your home warm during the winter months is by changing the direction your ceiling fans spin. Setting them to spin clockwise will pull the warm air down from above and lift the cooler air up away from you.
12. Leave the Oven Open after Baking
Whether you’re cooking a holiday ham or baking some cookies, you can always warm up your home with your oven. While it shouldn’t be used as the main heating source for your house, there is a way you can use it once the cooking process is done.
After whatever you’re baking has finished cooking, keep the oven door open after it’s turned off, so the warmth fills your kitchen. It’ll let all the hot air out and be a nice temporary boost to the temp in your space.
Use These Tips & Keep Your Home Warm this Winter
Depending on how energy-efficient your home is, tips like these will help you keep your home warm and toasty as the temperature drops. From space heaters and blankets to fireplaces and other practices, you can stay comfortable no matter how cold it gets outside.
Here at Nexstar Homes, we make sure our homes use the most energy-efficient materials to keep homes warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Check out more specific details about the Nexstar Advantage to find out the steps we take!