woods

It’s nearing the end of October, and even in Los Angeles the nights have begun to get quite nippy. Without even realizing it, we’re switching on the heat to stay cozy when the temps dip down. But you don’t have to wait until winter’s first snow to think about keeping warm inside. Here are five great ways to keep warm right now, as well as save on energy and heating bills. Bonus: If you start these projects now, you’ll be fully ready to face winter’s cold nip in a few months.

  1. Place wooden shelves above your radiators and heaters. Shelving above a radiator forces hot air to circulate out and into the room, rather than shooting straight up to the ceiling and being lost. You’re not trying to start a fire here, so give it at least a foot of space in between.

  2. Add wooden shutters. Wooden shutters help to insulate, so replace old blinds with them or add them to your kitchen and bedroom windows. They also add a natural elegance to any space.

  3. Fit your radiator valves. Whaa, your whaa? You’re thinking. By fitting radiator valves in a house or apartment, you can help to regulate the temperature differently with each room. Don’t need the bathroom to be 74 degrees while you’re watching The League in the living room? Then check out this tutorial from the BBC on how to fit your valves.

  4. Ditch the electric blanket. While they help you feel cozy, they’re terrible wasters of energy and energy dollars, so bundle up with an organic cotton blanket and a pair of warm, insulated slippers instead.

  5. Invest in (or make) a few heating rice packs. They may not keep you warm through and through come January, but they’re perfect for chilly fall nights. These rice- and grain-filled sacks can be heated in a microwave (if you haven’t ditched it yet!) or placed on a radiator for a few minutes until warmed. For us crafty-types, here’s a great tutorial to make your own rice packs.

Image: JD_WMWM