It’s so cold outside, we don’t need to tell you that. But inside? Yeah, unfortunately. Fortunately, simple low-cost hacks can keep you warm.
No cost to this. Stay warmer by staying upstairs, if you can. Heated air expands and loses density. Thus, it rises. Upstairs will be warmer than downstairs, all things being equal.
Thick materials have a higher R value (resistance to heat flow) than thinner materials and air-trapping materials like , , and flannels are better still. The microscopic air pockets formed in these materials are poor conductors of heat, increasing the R value of the material. It’s the same concept with the fiberglass insulation in your walls and ceilings. It’s the air pockets that make the difference.
Exterior walls, windows, and cold floors may be as warm as 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but the thermodynamics are not working in your favor. Your body’s temperature of 98.6 degrees radiates heat to these cold surfaces, making you feel cold in the process. This phenomenon is known as the Cold 70 Effect and explains why you can feel cold even in a 70-degree room.
There are several things you can do:
Avoid: The farther you get from cold surfaces, the better.
Insulate: are better than socks and certainly better than bare feet. Again, have a better R value.
Duck and cover: When you can’t avoid the Cold 70 Effect, cover your head and neck with a hooded sweatshirt, .
Another good choice is a . Head and neck coverage is important. Increasing R value in these regions is good thermodynamics but it’s also perception. Your head and neck are among the most cold-sensitive parts of your body. Feeling warmer mutes the body’s response to shiver, and you’ll feel more comfortable.
There are two ways you can do this, with an inexpensive heated blanket or with the tent-like blankets that have become popular as of late. Either one creates a micro climate, if you will. A creates its own heat, which it traps in all those micro fleece pockets. Slankets trap your body heat not only in their fleece but in their many folds. The result is the same: warmth.
Like your feet, your hands are nerve-rich surfaces. Keeping them warmer helps you feel warmer in general. and are your best choices.