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4 Ways to Keep Warm This Winter Without Breaking the Bank

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As the weather turns progressively colder, you're hit with a harsh reality: Winter isn't a wallet-friendly season. Ensuring that you're warm through the frigid months is a top priority, but at the same time, cranking up the heat to its highest capacity can be a major financial burden.

So how do you deal with this dilemma? Fortunately, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to warm your home. Try any of these smart strategies and you can keep snug without emptying your bank account.

Seal Up a Dormant Fireplace 
Cozying up to a flickering fireplace is a great way to stay warm on an icy winter night. However, there's one catch to consider. When a fireplace isn't in use, an open damper can allow heat to leak out and cold air from the outside to come into your home. So always open the damper before using your fireplace, but make sure to also close the damper after you've put it out.

Tim Erasmus from household maintenance company DIY Cape Town told Cape Town Magazine that he advises closing it up with a chimney protector or plate, but even a piece of wooden board or blanket will do. In an interview with BBC News, interior designer Claire Potter also suggested trying a chimney balloon.

Bring in the Heated Bedding
You can save a substantial amount of money by turning the thermostat down just a few degrees at night. You won't even feel the difference if you swap out your traditional mattress pad and quilt for heated bedding. With 20 different heat settings and personalized temperature compensation, you can be sure that you'll be toasty underneath heated blankets, no matter your personal preferences.

Cover Your Floors
An area rug isn't just a pretty piece of decor. In addition to adding a dose of color and style to a room, it can trap cold air, thus making your feet feel warmer. In fact, BBC News reported that when floors aren't insulated, they can account for up to 10 percent of heat loss. Erasmus recommended tossing one on top of tile floor, such as in your kitchen or bathroom. This tactic is particularly helpful in older homes with gap-ridden wooden flooring.

Hang Heavier Window Treatments
As long as your drapes are made from the right fabric, like a wool cotton blend, you can close them to block out cold air and help insulate a room. Then, during the daytime, you can open them up and let sunlight stream in to heat the space. For extra credit, line thick curtains or blinds with an extra padded layer of foam or quilt backing fabric.