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warm_in_winterWhen temperatures drop, you might be looking for alternative ways to stay warm without turning up the thermostat. Fortunately, a little ingenuity and determination will go a long way in helping you stay warm (without increasing your utility bills). Here are a few ideas to help you stay warm this winter.

1) Lay down rugs
Wood and tile flooring can sometimes be cold to the touch. Add decorative rugs to sitting areas to help keep your feet toasty. Rugs are also great for protecting your flooring from damage (in case of pets or excessive foot traffic).

2) Eliminate drafts
Poorly fitted doors and windows allow cold air to seep into your home or apartment. Invest in thermal-lined curtains to block drafts from entering your home. You should also check for cracks or holes around window and doorframes. Sealing leaks with caulk or weather stripping is an easy (and inexpensive) way to cut down on energy loss.

3) Utilize natural lighting for warmth
Shrubbery and trees can block the sun’s rays from reaching your home. Clear out unnecessary foliage, particularly around your windows and doors. Natural warmth provided by the sun will make a huge difference in the comfort level of your home.

4) Increase attic insulation
Is a lack of insulation causing heated air to escape through your attic? Make sure to cover your entire attic floor with insulation. If needed, hire an insulation pro to check insulation levels and recommend additional solutions.

5) Turn on the oven
Believe it or not, but heating up a tasty casserole or pot of soup will actually warm up your home. For an additional treat, why not bake a delicious dessert? Hot apple pie does wonders for a chilly home (and an empty stomach).

6) Close the doors
Whether or not you have zoned heat, closing the doors to drafty rooms will help keep other parts of your home warm. Consider tackling your drafty rooms with weatherstripping, caulking or additional insulation.

7) Buy new bedding
Switching out your existing blankets with warmer options will also help combat the cold. Flannel sheets and a down comforter are excellent choices for chilly weather.

Keeping warm during colder weather is simple – set up curtains, put down rugs, let in the sunshine and keep a steady flow of hot meals. With these tips, staying warm doesn’t always mean turning up the thermostat.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.  Check the blog daily for real estate tips and trends.