Save on Pinterest

19 Low-Key Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter

As the temperature starts to take a dip, there are some simple things you can do to cut back on heating bills. Beyond replacing old windows and increasing insulation, here are 19 unexpected ways you can keep your house warm this winter.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

1 / 20
heat Zvone/Shutterstock

Check the Radiators

If you have furniture blocking the radiators, you’re blocking heat from getting into the room. Move the couch away from the radiator and the room should warm up faster. Hide an ugly radiator with these 12 clever cover ideas.

2 / 20

How to Warm Up a Cold Room

These ideas really work!

3 / 20
RugsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Use Rugs

Rugs not only work to style a room, but they also do a good job of keeping your feet toasty if you have tile or hardwood flooring. Consider these 16 ways to warm up a cold room.

4 / 20
damperFamily Handyman

Are the Dampers Open?

Some ductwork contains dampers to adjust airflow. Look for handles and markings on the ductwork such as ‘summer’ and ‘winter.’ Set the damper handle parallel to the duct line for maximum airflow. Learn how to avoid chimney fires this winter.

5 / 20
shutterstock_150550232 aluminum foilSergiy Kuzmin/Shutterstock

Use Foil

If you have a radiator attached to an external wall, use some aluminum foil behind the radiator. The reflective nature of the foil will prevent heat from disappearing through the wall and instead will reflect it back into the room. Here are 10 ways to heat your home during an emergency.

6 / 20
Dmitriy Halacevich/Shutterstock

Try a Fireplace Plug

You can lose up to 20 percent of your home’s warm air through leaks in a loose fireplace damper. A fireplace plug can help you seal the flue to keep that warm air in. Fireplace plugs come in different sizes so be sure you know what size you need before purchasing. Is it time to clean your chimney? This is the ultimate chimney cleaning guide.

Shop Now

7 / 20
Clean and dirty furnace filters, changing furnace filterFamily Handyman

Is the Furnace Filter Filthy?

This is the most common cause of heating (and cooling) troubles. Change the filter and the problem usually disappears. Next, learn what things homeowners should be doing once a month.

8 / 20

Grab a Hot Water Bottle

Tired of getting in a cold bed at night? Fill a hot water bottle (with hot water, of course!) and place it at the foot of your bed, underneath the blanket. It will help keep your feet warm.

Shop Now

9 / 20

Let the Sun Shine

During sunny days, open the curtains and let some sunlight in. The rays will help warm you up even on the coldest days. Here are eight quick DIY furnace fixes.

10 / 20
FH09OCT_COLDRO_03_04Family Handyman

Duct-Booster Fans

If you have forced-air heat, you can take advantage of several types of duct booster fans that are designed to increase the flow of warm (or cool) air through your ducts into a problem room. In-line duct booster fans fit inside standard-size metal ducts. You mount the blower near the outlet end of a duct and then install a pressure switch (some models have one built in), which senses air pressure from the furnace and turns on the booster fan whenever the furnace or A/C blower turns on. Some in-line duct boosters simply plug into an available outlet, while other models are hard-wired. Cheaper units can be noisy, so it’s worth buying a quality model with a powerful motor and heavier gauge housing.

Shop Now

A ‘register’ booster fan is much easier to install. Depending on the model, it either sits on top of or replaces a floor or wall register grille, and plugs into an outlet. A built-in thermostat switches on when the furnace operates. Register duct boosters cost $40 to $70. Many different manufacturers make duct booster fans of both types.

Shop Now

11 / 20
CurtainsDean Drobot/Shutterstock

Close the Curtains

If you open the curtains to let the sun shine in during the day, close those curtains at night. This will help you trap the heat inside your home. Discover how you can get some insulation from your curtains.

12 / 20
oven brizmaker/Shutterstock

Leave the Oven Door Open

When you’re done baking and turn the oven off, leave the oven door open. The heat will flow into the kitchen and help warm up the room. Of course, don’t ever do this if you have children, pets or elderly house guests, unless you can securely close off the kitchen. Learn how to clean your oven without harsh chemicals.

13 / 20

Try Plastic Wrap with Air Pockets

This plastic wrap is more than just a packing material. Place a sheet on windows you don’t need to see out of to help keep some of that warm air in and cut down on your energy bills. Slash heating bills with these easy tips.

14 / 20

Use Shower Steam

If possible, leave the door open when you shower. This allows all that hot steam to travel through the house. It can also help cut down on dry winter air. Try these 12 ideas for combating winter dryness.

15 / 20

Reverse Ceiling Fans

If you have ceiling fans, reverse the motion so they are moving clockwise. This will help move warm air downward where it’s needed to keep you warm. Learn how to fix a wobbly ceiling fan.

16 / 20

Try a Terra Cotta Heater

Make a terra cotta heater. Just place a terra cotta flower pot upside-down over candles. You’ll need to prop the pot up a little with a couple small rocks or something similar so air can get underneath. Keep the heater out of the reach of children and pets and never leave candles unattended

17 / 20


Cut Down on Mini Drafts

You can lose a lot of warm air through mail slots and doggy doors. When possible, keep these areas covered. You can use a wool blanket to plug an animal door or even an old towel to close up a mail slot when the temperature really drops.

18 / 20
shutterstock_230858158 in floor heatSashkin/Shutterstock

Radiant Floor Heat

If you’re already in the market for a remodel, think about radiant floor heating, whether electric or hydronic. Because floor heating has a constant output, you don’t have the large swings (and increased bills) caused by appliances designed to turn off and on again when the temperature drops.

19 / 20
BoilAndrei Kuzmik/Shutterstock

Boil a Pot of Water

Whether you use a tea kettle or an open pot, boiling water will help warm up your kitchen. And, when you’ve got that piping hot water, make your favorite tea and warm yourself from the inside. Here is another surprising way to use boiling water!

20 / 20

Try a Shelf

If you have adequate open wall space, place a floating shelf above a radiator to help stop the hot air from rising upward too quickly. Just be careful not to put anything on the shelf that could be damaged by the heat. Build a floating shelf with these DIY plans.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.