’Tis the season when the thermostat drops and the cost of heating rises.
Luckily, there are a variety of ways to stay warm this winter that go beyond turning on central heating or throwing some logs in the fireplace.
Whether you are staying in or stepping out, below are six different ways to stay warm(er) this season.
1. Space heaters
Space heaters have long been a favorite for those needing to heat smaller spaces or not wanting to turn up the thermostat for their entire home.
Navy-blue space heater on marble countertop (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)
Top reasons to use a space heater:
- Form factor: Because space heaters are small and usually portable, they are convenient to plug and unplug and transport with you from one room to another. This is especially convenient when you only want to heat where you are and not your entire home.
- Cost Effective: Because the price of oil usually rises in the winter, it can be cheaper to use a space heater because it uses electricity, not gas, to heat.
- Temperature Control: Because sometimes it is hard to control how hot or cold you get with central heating, the space heater gives you a little more control. You can also control how much hotter it can get by adjusting the temperature on the space heater and also by your proximity to it.
There have been safety concerns over using space heaters, as improper use can cause fires. In addition to keeping the space heaters away from any objects, crowding them, or placing them where they can be knocked over, there are specific qualities to look for in a good space heater. Newer space heaters usually include technological advances to make them safer. To find out safer features to look for as well as our top picks of space heaters, check out the right way to use a space heater in this cold season.
2. Cozy indoor gear
A man staying warm with a blanket
This may seem like a very basic principle: wear more items to get warmer. Yet new winter gear is taking warmth to a new level: instead of piling on layers in your own home, a few select items can keep things simpler and warmer. Whether it is a cozy blanket that is made into an oversized sweater like comfy or refillable hand warmers, you can be assured to take the warmth with you from room to room. For these items and more, check out the best gifts for keeping cozy all year long.
3. Winter gloves
Gray gloves holding a peach mug (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)
A good pair of gloves is a winter essential. All gloves, however, are not created equal. Several features available in more contemporary gloves can keep you warmer than gloves of years past:
- Touchscreen friendly: At some point in your winter day or night, you’ll inevitably need to access your phone. And nothing makes you colder faster than having to take off your gloves in order to use your phone. Touchscreen-friendly gloves usually have special fibers in the thumb and index fingers, allowing you to use your phone with the gloves on. Now if only being touchscreen friendly could keep you from dropping your phone!
- Waterproof: Winter usually brings rain or snow in most regions, and nothing makes you shiver and ruin the day faster than when your gloves get wet. Not only will it make you colder, but it is less likely to dry with dropping temperatures. Waterproof gloves, however, help to keep water and the chill out.
For our picks of best winter gloves in a variety of materials, check out the top 8 absolute best winter gloves that work on touch screens.
4. Smart thermostat
Ecobee smart thermostat (Ecobee)
When push comes to shove, turning on the central heating system is definitely necessary during the cold winter months. When you need to heat multiple rooms at the same time, or the temperature drops to a certain point, it may be time to turn on central heating. In order to keep the costs manageable, you can utilize a smart thermostat. One of the top reasons why a smart thermostat can keep you warm while saving you money is that it learns your and your family’s behavioral habits and adjusts temperature settings automatically. No more forgetting to turn off the heater before leaving the house again because your thermostat will turn it off for you.
For our favorite Smart Thermostat as well as other ways to keep bills lower, check out three crucial ways to keep temperatures high and bills low this winter.
5. Wi-Fi Thermostat
Sensi Wi-Fi thermostat (Sensi)
Even if you are ready to utilize central heating, it’s helpful to use a Wi-Fi thermostat if a smart thermostat is too expensive or incompatible with your system. Because you can access your central heating system while you’re away with a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can keep it off while you’re out of the house and turn it on when you are returning home so you can walk into a warm, comfortable home. It’s also great for those days when you can’t remember if you left the heating on or off because you can check with the corresponding app and turn it off if necessary.
Find out the differences between smart vs. Wi-Fi thermostats as well as our picks in smart vs. Wi-Fi thermostats: the pros and cons + my 5 top picks.
6. Smart plugs
By now, most people understand that electronic devices plugged into an outlet use energy even while the device is turned off. By using a smart plug, you can turn off the outlet completely. Additionally, smart plugs can be a great way to control your portable heating devices, such as space heaters or electric blankets.
If you own older models without auto shut-off features, it can be easy to leave them turned on, which increases the risk of overheating and causing a fire. But if you have your heated blanket or space heater plugged into a smart plug, not only can you make sure it isn’t using energy while off, but you can usually connect through the smart plug app to turn it off if you’ve accidentally left it on. Get more information on how smart plugs work and our top picks for the seven best ways to save money on your electricity bill.
Kurt’s key takeaways
The colder temperatures during the winter season may be inevitable, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find new ways to stay warm. Small to big additions to your life can bring more warmth and possibly monetary savings.
What are your tried and true winter staples? Are you one of those people who wait until it is absolutely necessary to turn on central heating, or do you turn it on as soon as you get a hint of chill? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.
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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life better with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business beginning mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.