When the temperatures drop, you need your home to be as warm and comfortable as possible. Having the right plan in place will ensure that your home stays toasty and warm when the cold months arrive. From insulating your home to decorating it to make it feel cozier, there are plenty of ways you can create and keep a warm home throughout the frigid winter months. Read on for some essential tips that will get your home prepped and ready for the season so you can stay cozy.
Prepare for the Season
As temperatures start to plunge, it's wise to prepare your home before it's too far into the cold months of the year. Start by having your furnace inspected by a professional to ensure that everything is in good working order. It's also a great time to change your air filter to keep your system running smoothly. Most air filters should be replaced every 30 days, but you can find some that last 90 days, and some that are washable so they can be reused. Ensuring that your home's heating system is working the way it should is the best way to prepare before winter arrives. Check your roof to look for any possible signs of damage, and make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear in the event of an ice storm or heavy snow.
If your doors and windows are drafty, it won't help to keep you warm. Proper insulation around all doors and windows prevents the warm air from escaping and the cold outdoor air from getting inside. Check all of your windows and doors and look for signs of worn-out seals around the frames. A simple update like adding new weatherstripping or fresh caulk will seal the gaps to keep those cold drafts at bay. Don't forget to check your garage door, too. If your garage door isn't properly sealed, it can make the entire house feel colder. If you need help, contact your local utility company and ask for an inspection. Many companies will give you a free evaluation to help you identify areas where you could be losing heat and wasting energy.
Keep it Warm
Once your heating system is inspected, and everything is properly insulated, you can incorporate a few other things to ensure that your home stays cozy all winter long. Consider these tips to help you stay comfortable, even when the temperatures start to drop outside:
- Blankets: Now is the time of year to stock up on blankets to keep you warm this winter. A thick, soft blanket is a great companion when you're curled up on the couch watching a movie or reading a book. Look for blankets made of insulating materials like cotton fleece, wool, or a friendly down alternative. These materials are super-soft, and they'll keep your body warm while you take a long winter nap or lounge in the living room.
- Rugs: An area rug is a smart way to warm up any home, especially if you have hard surface floors like tile, vinyl, or wood. Choose shag rugs if you really want to make your home warmer, since these soft rugs are made of a thick, high pile. Placing a large rug underneath your bed will make it much more pleasant when you get up in the morning since you won't have to walk on cold, hard floors right when you wake up or get up in the middle of the night.
- Fireplace: Nothing is quite as cozy as a roaring fire. If you have a fireplace, make sure it's clean and ready to use before winter arrives. You should have your fireplace inspected, and the chimney swept so that it's ready to be enjoyed all season. Stock up on firewood if you have a wood-burning fireplace so you'll have plenty of fuel when the temperature drops. Ensure the flue is closed when the fireplace isn't in use to keep cold air from getting inside. Fireplaces are excellent if you want to heat your home on a budget, and they can lower your energy bills by a significant amount, especially if you have a smaller home.
- Heaters/Thermostat: To keep your home warm and cozy, upgrade to a smart thermostat. These unique devices start to "learn" your preferences and habits to keep your heater working at prime capacity while saving you money. Use your smart thermostat's app to control the temperature in your home when you're away. It's also quite handy when you want to adjust the thermostat, but you don't want to get out of bed or off the couch to change it. Ask your HVAC professional about the cost to install a smart thermostat and whether or not it will work with your home's heating system.
- Bedding: Fall and winter are the times to update your bedding to something warmer. Flannel sheets and pillowcases do a great job of keeping your body warm while you sleep. Look for a thick comforter made of wool or material like down alternative, which is hypoallergenic and has fantastic insulating properties. You can also layer your bedding so you can adjust it to your desired level of warmth. A heated mattress pad or blanket can also be a smart investment, especially if you tend to be cold while you sleep.
- Outfit: Keep your feet cozy and warm at home with a good pair of slippers. Look for slippers with a good sole with grips, so you don't slip when you're walking around. Winter clothes like a thick cotton beanie will keep your head warm. Check your closet and make sure you have a quality coat, jacket, and a few sweaters. A long-sleeve flannel is the right choice if you want to stay cozy inside since it's warm and soft but not quite as heavy as winter outerwear.
When it comes to home décor, the Hygge style (pronounced "hoo-ga") is a good choice, especially in the fall and winter seasons. This decorating style is a Danish and Norwegian movement that evokes feelings and moods of coziness and comfort. The idea is to create a space where you feel content and at peace through the textures, warm color, and decoration you choose to use in your home.
- Curtains: Create a cozy space with some window curtains made of heavy, lined fabric to keep you warm. Insulative or light-blocking curtains will turn your home into a cozy cave but aim to choose window treatments in lighter hues like beige, gray, or a light blue to recreate the Hygge style.
- Pillow:Layers of pillows on your furniture make any room feel warm and welcoming. Choose soft, comfy pillows featuring simple patterns (think slender stripes or a subtle floral) or neutral solid colors. You can add as many pillows as you like to give your living room a cozy look and feel. A large floor pillow in front of the fireplace is another great way to enjoy the warmth, coziness, and a relaxing Hygge vibe.
- Furniture:If you want to give your home a Hygge-inspired look, choose furniture made of organic materials like solid wood, leather, or rattan. Upholstered pieces should be light in color and have clean, simple lines without too many embellishments. If you're not ready to buy all-new furniture, consider having an accent chair, or small loveseat reupholstered in Hygge-style colors and fabrics like linen or cotton.
- Textures and colors:The color scheme of the Hygge design is neutral and tends to be lighter. A mixture of beige, brown, and gray are great options for cozy fall and winter color. When it comes to textures, layer your linens and rugs. A jute area rug with a smaller rug on top is an excellent way to give your home a Hygge feel.
- Seasonal candles and scents:Candles are considered a Hygge staple. A flickering candle creates a warm, comforting ambiance, but it can also be beneficial in the event of a power outage. Choose candles with inviting seasonal fragrances like spice, cinnamon, or fir tree. A large candle holder inside your fireplace is a beautiful, cozy substitute for a real fire and will give your home a beautiful ambiance and a warm, illuminating glow.
- Lighting:To give your home a Hygge look through lighting, choose fixtures that include a dimmable feature so you can adjust the brightness level. A warm-white LED bulb is a good option to emit a soft, warm light. Keep your fixtures clean and straightforward and opt for pendant lights with a simple white or brown woven shade to create a sense of harmony and balance.
Extra Tips to Keep You Warm and Cozy
With the right insulation, a robust heating system, and some accessories, you can stay warm and cozy all winter season. Here are a few extra tips to help you save money on energy costs and keep warm throughout the winter months:
- Close doors to the rooms you aren't using to keep warm air in the places you're in. If you leave all the doors open, you're unnecessarily heating rooms you aren't currently using.
- Open your curtains during the day to let the warmth from the sun come inside. Close the curtains at night for an extra layer of insulation against the cold.
- Turn your ceiling fan clockwise during the winter. This will push the warm air that's trapped near the ceiling up and then down along the walls to keep you warm.
- Have a blanket or two in every room so you can snuggle and stay cozy anywhere in your home.
- Enjoy hot meals and drink hot beverages like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Eating and drinking hot things warms up your core temperature and gives you a sense of comfort.
- Spend time together as a family in one room. Your collective body heat will keep the room warmer. Besides, fall and winter is the perfect time to reconnect as a family.
As the temperatures start to get colder, now is the time to prepare your home for the frigid months of winter. Whether you need to inspect your home's heating system, install a new thermostat, or clean your fireplace, being prepared now will ensure that you're comfortable and cozy all season long. Enhance your home by incorporating some lovely Hygge decor and layer your bed with thick, cozy blankets. With these tips, you'll enjoy spending time at home, no matter what the weather brings.