Staying Warm in a Cold House

I keep my house cold.  I don’t mind admitting that.  I’m simply unwilling to face sky-high heating bills through the winter months and, since I live in New England, that means compromising on the temperature setting.  I know plenty of people who think they’re being real troopers by setting it at 65 during the day and, if that works for you, then more power to you.  Around here?  Isn’t happening.  Well, unless there’s someone less than 2 or over 70 around. ;)


There are lots of tips and tricks for keeping warm in a chilly house.  Some off the top of my head?


  1. Drink something warm.  Tea, coffee, and cocoa warm you from the inside out.
  2. Bake.  Using the oven warms up the kitchen, at least, while accomplishing something tangible (and yummy).
  3. Keep moving.  Much as curling up in a ball might be appealing, you’ll stay warmer if you stay on your feet and keep moving.
  4. Blankets are your friends.  Blankets are a cheap, cozy way to stay warm when you’re going to be in one place for awhile!
  5. But…. my very favorite tip for staying warm in a cold house?  Fleece vests.


In this house, we all have them.  We snagged ours during an Old Navy promotion last year, but they’re available lots of places.  Fleece vests are not restrictive, since your arms are free, and can be layered easily.  I don’t even really notice mine is on…

(Do you like my superhero pose? Ha!)

I make sure the one I choose will fit over bulky clothing.  Here, I was wearing it over a long-sleeved knit top and a thick cardigan.  (Note that I chose black:  When you’re wearing that many thick layers, it’s good to choose as slimming a shade as possible.  Plus, it matches everything.)

I’m not the only one sportin’ the vest look around here!  My kids know that their vests are always available to them and they frequently toss them on for hanging out around the house.

There’s just something about keeping the core of your body nice and toasty that helps counteract a chilly house.  And fleece vests really help us stay warm and happy!


What’s your favorite way to stay cozy when the temps drop?


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19 comments to Staying Warm in a Cold House

  • ha ha we’re rarely set below 70. Overnight 67.

  • We tried to stay warm in our cold house after the power went out, but it got down below fifty degrees inside at night and I was having trouble breathing/sleeping, so we headed to my parent’s house. Guess my lungs weren’t made for cold air. (I have some trouble with asthma under certain conditions.)

    While we were trying to stay warm in our heatless house, we wore hats, layers of clothing, shoes, winter coats, and used lots of lap blankets on the couch. I LOVE VESTS! I have a fleece one and a sweatshirt-lined-with-fleece vest – both from L.L. Bean and I LOVE THEM! I think they kept me alive ;)

    Hope you are all well and staying warm after that crazy storm!

  • Katie

    Oh man, I would freeze at your house! You need to come out my way, a couple years ago our small town PUD had the 3rd lowest utility rates in the nation. I need to remember these tips for the days where it is not quite cold enough to build a fire in the woodstove but is still a little cooler for my liking. Thanks for the reminders!

  • So if it isn’t 65 in your house, how warm/cold is it? :)

  • I like fuzzy socks! Here in NC we are still in the 60′s and 70′s during the day, it’s just now gettign where there are days in the 50′s and at night we are in the 30′s and 40′s. Our themostat is set to heat and is between 60 and 65. Our house is poorly insulated and our bedroom gets quite toasty. However, in the morning when we come out the living room is quite chilly. So we just either get dressed or put on warm socks and blankets until the house warms up a bit. We make sure that little man is in toasty pajamas and has extra blankets on his bed but so far everyone is quite comfortable.

    PS-I find it funny that your high bill is in the winter, ours goes down drastically but in the summer is usually around $300. Gotta love those hot humid southern summers. LOL

  • Mary

    You inspired me. I turned our thermostat down another 2 degrees (to 64). After we adjust, I may turn it down another degree or two during the day (I have a 3 month old and a not quite 2 year old, so I don’t want it too cold for my kids who can’t tell me they’re too cold at night!). We have our gas and electric on budget billing, so we don’t get spiking bills, but lower usage means they readjust it – and we usually geta month with no bill!

  • Me!

    we tend to buck the system a bit and set the heat at 55 during the day when I am usually the only one here and then up it to a toasty 58 or 60 at night when the kiddos are home. I know they are not too cold because I went to turn the heat up the other night and one kids said,”I thought it was fine like it was (55).” We do wear hoodie sweatshirts and socks and lay out the rugs on the wood floors. Boo to high oil prices!

    • You know, I was a lot like that back in Indiana when my kids were babies and toddlers– they weren’t good about keeping blankets on, so I always felt like we could keep it cooler in the day when they were active, but turned it up a bit at night. You just have to do what works, right? :)

  • Hi! I am in New England too. We also keep our house “cozy” by keeping it cold!

    You will often find us in full on winter clothes indoors.

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Celine

    We also keep the temp down. Though at our current place heat’s included in our rent so I don’t even worry about keeping it at a specific setting I just adjust it as needed. It isn’t going to make a difference in what I end up paying and it’s not like me keeping my heat down is going to lower my rent. We also take full advantage of the winter sun by opening curtains to let in lots of light.

    • Oh, I LOVE to let the light in! In the summer, I know it’s best to close curtains and blinds but I find that so dreary and upsetting. So I’m delighted to let all that beautiful light spill in– great reminder, Celine!

  • Sarah Cassill

    I live in an OLD apartment building with steam heat I have no control over– it’s FREEZING during the day and a SAUNA at night. If they’d just pick a temperature I could cope…..

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