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Learn how to survive the cold winter season with these Must-Know Cold Weather Hacks that will help keep you safe, healthy, and warm all winter long!
Depending on where you live, winter can be tough!
I’ve never been much of a fan of cold weather, though I still don’t mind the occasional fun day of sled riding, cross country skiing, or just cozying up inside while the snow falls.
I live in Central Pennsylvania, and recent winters have been uncharacteristically mild the past several years.
This year, however, we are experiencing the coldest weather we’ve had in a long time, which has been a major challenge for us, especially since I raise backyard birds as pets.
Whether you like the season or not, these 25 Cold Weather Hacks will help you stay warm and safe and save money this winter.
More ways to help you thrive this winter:
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When I’m at home in the colder months, I’m usually wearing a hoodie and socks and cuddled under a nice, warm blanket and some dogs and cats if I’m lounging or watching TV.
Sure, it can get annoying having to constantly bundle up all winter – even at home – but if you put on another layer of clothing instead of turning up the heat, you can save yourself some serious money on heating costs – which are high enough this time of year.
You can also keep warm by sealing up drafts around doors and windows with these 12 DIY Draft Stoppers to Warm Your Home in Style.
For more easy ways to save money in the winter and all year long, check out 25 Money Hacks That Will Save You Money and Simplify Your Life.
Now that cold weather has set in, you may be using your dryer more often if you normally like to hang your laundry outside.
To prevent fires and increase your dryer’s energy efficiency, make sure to regularly and thoroughly clean the vent that goes from your dryer to outside. This is a leading cause of house fires.
It’s one thing to try to keep heating costs low, but some people take it too far – like unscrupulous landlords and office managers.
If your apartment or office building is freezing and you have no control over the thermostat, you’ll need to try to trick the device if you want to get warm.
Make the thermostat think the room is colder than it is by placing ice, cold packs, or a fan near it.
In the summer, you want to run your ceiling fans counterclockwise for cooling, but winter is a different story. Warm air rises to the ceiling leaving you cold down below.
Turn your ceiling fan on low in the clockwise direction to send cool air up toward the ceiling and warm air back down to you.
This can save you up to 15% on heating costs!
There are a couple ways you can insulate your windows for winter:
Stopping drafts is a necessity to keep you warm and save on your heating bill this winter.
If you own your home, you’ll probably want to permanently fix any drafts under doors with some weather stripping, but if you rent or are low on funds, you can use draft blockers to block drafts under doors (and windows, too).
This super cheap DIY draft blocker is made from foam pipe insulator, which you can easily get from your local hardware, big box store, or on Amazon.
One 2-inch by 6 foot long piece can insulate two doors.
While it’s not very pretty, it does an efficient job of blocking drafts on doors and moves with the door when in use.
For more attractive options, check out 12 DIY Draft Stoppers to Warm Your Home in Style.
Your home loses heat through the floor, especially uncovered floors like hardwood, tile, and laminate. To prevent this, cover bare floors with lots of cozy throw rugs that also feel better under cold feet.
Cooking and baking can seriously heat up a home!
Prep your meals for the week on the weekend when you’ll be home all day to get the house all warm and toasty.
Make a roast or soup that has to cook for hours. Bake some goodies, and invite some friends over – with their body heat – to eat the spoils.
If the oven and stove are hard at work, all that heat will radiate throughout your home. Plus, as long as you’re cooking, you’ll stay active, keeping you even warmer.
When you’re done baking, turn the oven off and open the oven door to distribute extra heat into your home.
Just make sure no children or pets can burn themselves on the oven before it cools.
DO NOT use your oven as a regular heat source – this can be dangerous.
Plug your drain while you shower to let the warm water collect in your bath tub. Then, don’t drain the tub until the water returns to room temperature.
This method will help warm your home and add some much-needed humidity to the air.
Icy windshield wipers are the worst!
You can’t just pull the ice off the wipers because you might take pieces of the wiper off with it, and damaged wipers can damage your windshield resulting in costly repairs.
To prevent this, simply cover your wipers with some old socks to make cleaning off your car in bad winter weather a breeze.
If you don’t have heated side mirrors, cover your car’s side mirrors with plastic bags secured with rubber bands or clothespins.
Before using your car, remove the bags for ice free mirrors!
If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may want to invest in a Waterproof Car Cover. When a storm is in the forecast, cover your car with your car cover.
You can also use a bed sheet, tarp, or plastic sheeting – so you can just remove the covering when the storm is over for an instantly clean car!
This video shows how well this method works.
There are a couple methods to prevent your car windows from fogging.
Heat your key with a lighter or match, then gently insert the warmed key to thaw a frozen lock.
You can also apply a few drops of hand sanitizer or the DIY De-Icer below to your key before inserting into the lock.
Instead of purchasing de-icer, which may contain dangerous chemicals, make your own.
In a spray bottle, mix rubbing alcohol and water in a 2:1 ratio, and spray on car windows to help melt ice faster.
Never use rubbing alcohol full strength – it may damage your car’s paint finish.
When temperatures are just below freezing, use a 50-50 mix of alcohol and water, and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
This mixture works better than just alcohol and water when temperatures are less extreme.
I use RainX All Season Windshield Washer Fluid all year long.
In the winter, it quickly melts light frost without refreezing (thick ice still requires the ice scraper), in summer, it keeps the bugs off, and rain runs right off while I’m driving, greatly increasing my visibility.
I’ve used this fluid for years now and won’t go back to regular washer fluid.
Prepare emergency kits like this one for your home and car to protect you, your family, and your pets in emergencies this winter.
Your home kit should contain flashlights, a battery powered or wind-up radio, a wind-up clock, a portable cell phone charger, some food that stores well and requires no cooking (and a can opener if this food is canned), lots of fresh drinking water, plenty of blankets, and fresh batteries.
Having these supplies on hand will ensure you can weather a storm safely without having to venture out.
For the car kit, you should have the items listed above, plus an extra layer of winter clothes for everyone who might be traveling with you, warm and waterproof winter boots in case you have to walk in the snow, jumper cables, and some road flares to warn of traffic hazards and help rescue teams find you.
PRO TIP: If you’re worried about having enough water in your home or car in case of emergencies, consider keeping a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter on hand to purify water for safe drinking. It could save your life.
On those special winter days when the sun is out, use its energy to your advantage.
If you can, park your car in the sun facing east. The sun’s warm rays will melt snow and ice on your car, doing most (if not all) of the work for you.
You can also open your curtains on sunny days to let the sun shine through your windows to help warm your home.
Once the sun goes down, it’s pretty pointless to keep your blinds and curtains open in the wintertime.
Close your blinds and curtains at night and anytime the sun isn’t shining through the windows to keep heat from escaping out the windows.
To heat your home more efficiently and save on heating costs, close vents in rooms you don’t use.
Be careful not to close too many vents, though, because doing so will make your furnace work harder to circulate air.
Also, make sure your vents are free from obstructions to increase air flow and reduce fire hazards.
Spray your snow shovel with cooking spray to prevent snow from sticking and make snow removal so much easier.
Sometimes, no matter how much you bundle up or stay inside this winter, you still need some extra help to stay warm when it’s really cold outside.
HotHands Hand & Toe Warmers are a wonderful way to keep your hands and feet warm when warm clothes just aren’t enough.
Winter is usually the worst time for colds, flus, and other illnesses.
Keep your immune system strong by adhering to the following healthy living strategies:
Easy ways to get started:
Staying active isn’t just a great way to boost your immune system to stay healthy, it can also help you stay warm and ward off the winter blues.
When you’re at home, try to stay moving as much as you can. Wash the dishes, tidy and clean the house, work out, etc.
All of these activities can keep you warm, reduce the need to turn up the thermostat, and keep you happy and fit.
Getting through winter isn’t always easy, but these Cold Weather Hacks will definitely make the season more bearable.
What do you think of these Easy Cold Weather Hacks? Did I miss any great tips? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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