Every season has its pros and cons. And while winter affords the opportunity to spend some time with the family all cozy and snug, the cost of heating your home just might take all the fun out of winter. This article will explore 11 ways to heat your home, without busting the bank.

We will look at ways of preserving heat, keeping cold out, and other ways of increasing your energy efficiency, so you and the family can enjoy worry-free evenings sipping hot chocolate and listening to the fire crackling in the hearth.

Keeping The Cold Out and The Heat In

When you think of heating, you invariably think of getting heat into a cold area. But what happens if the area is losing the heat at approximately the same rate that generated heat is being introduced? It makes sense that the area will stay cold.

It turns out, that the better the area is at keeping the heat in, the quicker it will heat up, and the less heat will be required to keep it warm. So the secret lies in really good insulation. Professional insulation can be expensive, but in practice, isolating an area requires just a little bit of common sense and a bit of elbow grease.

The following are really good sources of insulation. Many of these items get thrown away after use, so see about where you can maybe get some for free.

  • Peanut Shells – Peanut shells work well when layered thick inside ceilings. Many shells find their way into animal feeds or garden compost. They can be bought by the bag and dumped into ceilings.
  • Corrugated Cardboard – you can buy corrugated cardboard on rolls, or cut up old packaging boxes. These can be placed inside ceilings in layers or taped to windows to help isolate a room.
  • Bubble Wrap – You can tape this to glass windows, install it as a curtain, roll it up and tape to close openings below doors where the cold might be seeping in. The air trapped in the pockets of the bubble wrap act as insulation, while at the same time hindering convection, so it’s effective.
  • Old Clothing – Often old clothing will be cut and sold in bales to be used as rags. You can buy these for real cheap and use them as insulation in your ceiling or fill bags and use them as extra cover on beds and even for animals.
  • Polystyrene Packaging Chips – These shell-shaped structures are used to stabilize irregular shaped items during shipping. Companies that unpack imported goods will often discard these, reuse or sell them off. These make excellent insulation for ceilings.

11 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Home This Winter

Natural Heat

Pay special attention to isolating windows that don’t get any sun during the day. But be sure to open the curtains of those that do, to let in the maximum amount of heat from the sun. Be sure to close the curtains early enough not to lose the heat again in the late afternoon.

Warm Beds

Place rocks or bricks in your fireplace to heat them. These can then be wrapped in old blankets or towels and placed inside beds to heat them before you go to sleep.

11 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Home This Winter


Movement naturally heats the body. Your heat requirement will go down if you spend some time in the early evening doing exercises that raise your body temperature.


Sleeping with pets on or inside your bed will help generate and keep heat. Pet rats and gerbils are not recommended, rather get larger animals like cats or dogs. No reptiles!

Related: Easy DIY Winter Doghouse

11 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Home This Winter

Double Up On Doors Or Curtains At Doors

An open door can lose a lot of heat every time it’s opened, so the recommendation is to open and close doors as little as possible. A great idea is to close the openings of outside doors with a tarp or heavy curtain of some sort. This will prevent heat from flowing out once you open a door.

Heat Absorbing Dark Colors

Paint your roof black. Paint the walls facing the sun black. Wear black clothes when you go outside. Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors. A silver or white roof will reflect all of the sun’s heat away, causing you to lose free solar energy.

11 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Home This Winter

Seal-Off Unused Rooms

Any room that can be permanently sealed for the winter should be closed and isolated before the cold hits. These should preferably be rooms that are not on the sunny side of your home. Limiting movement into them will keep heat in the places where you and the family are. If you are keeping winter supplies outside or in rarely used rooms, move as much of this inside as possible.


Ever thought about how much heat is lost hauling firewood from outside into your home. Think about storing more inside, even if it means filling up one of those unused rooms.

11 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Home This Winter

Cold Sinks

This is a trick I saw used by the Inuit people in Igloos. They dig cold sinks around the perimeter, and the coldest air sinks into that cavity. You can achieve something similar by raising your bed and tables and chairs off the floor. The higher the better. We use platforms in the kitchen where we do the dishes or in the bathroom at the loo or at the sink where we brush teeth etc.

11 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Home This Winter

Indoor Tents

Run a rope across your rooms and use old sheets to build a tent-like structure over your bed. If you are using an indoor heater, this will greatly reduce the volume of air that it needs to heat.

Heats Up!

So get busy, get the family to help, visit those thrift stores and get ready for those nice and toasty evenings spent indoors with the family.

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