Help needed from northerners on staying warm

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ruth, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I've lived in the deep south all my life. For the last 35 years in the New Orleans area. Never even had winter clothes or coat. We got maybe one or two nights a year, in the 30s and the next day could easily be 80. I moved at Christams to an old, raised farm-house 45 miles outside of Baton Rouge, just across state line in Woodville, Miss. I'm starting to think I've moved to the north pole. It's been freezing every day (low 30s or 20s) - even had snow though locals said they hadn't had snow in 20 years. This skinny southern girl just can't handle much more of this freezing weather. I'm so cold I can't stand it. Plus, the heater than runs the 3 rooms of the home that we use most is on propane and is using 100 gallons a week at $3 per gallon ($300 a week) and the house still isn't warm. I can crank all three heaters up (other two systems are electric) and the house doesn't get warm. We bought free standing electrical heaters and put them in the rooms but they don't help much. There's a fire place in every room and we've tried lighting some but unless I practically crawl into it and stay there I don't get warm. Of course, my last home was state of the art modern - triple insulated - double pane windows and sat on a slab. This house is 100 years old with sagging windows, panes that don't even sit in window frames properly, doors that don't fit frames, raised off ground so floors are ice cold. Of course it was designed to handle the heat in the deep south and not the cold. I'm sure it will be great this summer - probably won't have to run a/c.

    My question, for all of you northerners or others who live in freezing areas is "How do you stay warm"? What can I do? I'm living in sweat suits, bundled up and shivering. I can't seem to function because all of my energy seems to be going to trying to warm up or shivering. Boiling myself in a hot bath is only thing that seems to help but I can't live in the tub. What can I do to get the house warm and to stay warm myself? I have a lot of outside work that needs to be done but I'm out there a few minutes and just can't handle the cold. At this point I'm tempted to keep my other home as my winter home and use this one for the rest of the year.

    Seriously, any advice on heating old homes? I've read posts about wood stoves and we're looking into pellet stoves. If the house were warm I'd be o.k. working outside because I could come in and warm up every once in a while but now, I come in and the inside of the house is colder than outside.
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    My best advice is to layer your clothing. If I put on a nice warm sweatshirt with nothing but undies underneath it, I freeze! But if I put it over a soft tee-shirt and a turtleneck, it's fabulous. Layering! (Three medium weight layers are better than one big chunky layer.)

    Wear leotards under your jeans and maybe two pairs of socks.

    I've also heard that having a chicken on your lap can do wonders.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  3. HenHappy

    HenHappy Songster

    Feb 16, 2007
    on my way to you....
    One thing you might try is plastic to cover your windows ( They should really be replaced if you get draughts) Put 2-way tape all around place plastic on and use a hair dryer to tighten it. Wood stoves are great, but you have to know how to use them to get max output. Plus look into your home insurance because you usually have to pay more if you use one. If you have a fire and did not tell your insurance company, they may not pay out. What are the floors made of? Bare? Put tons of carpet down. What kind of insulation does the house have? BLANKETS!!!! I have one with me all the time. Tread mill. Get on and start running. That's all I can think of for now. Good luck!
  4. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Sorry for the Northern hospitality making a visit! Um the good news is, the whole country has been in a cold snap, so I wouldn't figure you will remain cold for too much longer. The solutions we have to stay warm are making sure the house is draft free. Sounds like investing in some good windows is a place to start. But just like keeping the A/C air in in the summer is the same way you keep the cold out in the winter. Check your insulation, and roof. Of course those aren't cheap or easy solutions, but worth looking in to.
    For the quick part, dress in layers, and wrap up in a nice blanket. We keep fires going, and I supplement with a kerosene heater because gas is high up here. Other than that, not much to advice on. Cooking & baking heats up the home too. Eventually you'll get used to it. My husband is from the South and has lived here now 14+ yrs. When he goes down home, he has a hard time in the hot & humid summers.

    Bundle up!
  5. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I can relate because I grew up in El Paso Tx and now live in the frozen state of Idaho. I recommend layering, but also, next fall when it begins to get cold, don't put all of your heavy stuff on right away. Where a jacket until that doesn't keep you warm anymore, then use your heavy coat. Then later on when it's really cold, wear long underwear or coveralls. This way, you condition yourself to the cold as you go instead of putting on your heavy stuff right away and then not having anything else later when it really gets cold.

    As for heating your house, we use woodstoves and do just fine usually. Also remember that it takes less energy to keep your house at a certain heat than to warm it up to one, so set your thermostat at a certain heat and leave it alone! It will save money.

    Good Luck!

    Just re-reading your original post and I realized that you really didn't move to the frozen wastelands of the north, just a more northern part of the south, so most of my advice isn't relevant. You could come visit me for a week in Idaho and then you'll be toasty warm upon returning home.[​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2008
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Layers and layers and more layers... our house is set to 65F... is that cold?
  7. turnerstar31

    turnerstar31 Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    long johns those things work wonders and layers
  8. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Well, I think living in the cold all my life, I've become accustomed to it. I only heat my house to 60, wear slippers and add another layer of clothing when I'm feeling cold (usually the first part of winter) yesterday I was wearing just shorts and a t around the house and was fine. 32 was the "high" temp yesterday I believe.

    Some other things you can do though is use heavy insulating curtains for your windows and caulk (where possible) wherever you feel a draft. Is your house insulated? Mine was built in the 1920's and still wasn't insulated in parts of the house (we moved in in 2002), adding insulation really helped out a lot because the cold would otherwise just come right through the wall.

    Drink lots of coffee, tea (decaf so you don't get the jitters) or hot cocoa and maybe take up baking I definitely bake a lot more in winter. [​IMG] lol A layer of fat never hurts when it's cold...I'm very well insulated [​IMG]

    I think you'll get used to it...probably not the answer you want...but by next summer I'll bet you'll be roasting in heat. Anything much over 80 and I'm sweating!
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Quote:Tell me about it! Shoot, I nearly die if I have to walk someone when it's in the high 70's. I'm a happy clam when it's in the mid 60's.
  10. OHbluecoop

    OHbluecoop Chirping

    Dec 19, 2007
    Wauseon Ohio
    I am cold all the time too. Fortunately I have a well insulated house- that makes abig difference- but anyway ditto what the others said - there are window insulating plastic to cover the windows, close off any rooms you don't use. For now what about some straw bales arund the outside otf the house where its draftiest? For yourself, layers work best for me, I found cuddle duds silky underwear are outstanding! Not too thick but warm, and if I go somwhere where its warm- i don't get too hot. I totally get about being skinny and cold!

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