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How to keep a house warm without central heating

burning fireplace

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Whatever your reasons may be—needing to save on an energy bill, not having central heating because it’s not working (or just missing), or if you’re simply being eco-minded—you might be wondering how to keep a house warm without central heating. There are many ways to heat a house without a furnace or boiler, and we’ll run through the best ways to heat a house without central heating here.

How to keep a house warm without heat

Central heating is the easiest way to keep a house warm in winter, but certainly not the only way. It is entirely possible to heat a house without a furnace and if you’re wondering how to keep a house warm without heat, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our best tips:

Centralize your living space

It’s easier to keep a small space warm than lots of different rooms. If you have an extra bedroom or study, make sure you keep the door closed to those spaces. Alternatively, move what you can into a central living space, like the kitchen, and spend your time at home there so your heating efforts are less spread out—this is one of the best ways to heat a house without central heating. That way, you can focus on heating one space more efficiently. If your kids are in separate bedrooms, try and convince them to have a “sleepover” in one room during the coldest weeks—the younger sibling might be happy to sleep in a more grown-up room, and an older sibling might be happy to take on the grown-up responsibility of accommodating them. Perhaps not, but telling them that it’ll be warmer this way might just help them agree to it.

Check for drafts

Make sure that doors and windows are properly closed. If your window won’t close, that’ll be a main drain of heat in your home. Even newer windows can be drafty, and gaps between the floor and door let frosty air creep in more easily. Create something called a “draft dodger.” Roll up a towel and line it along the bottom of the door to make sure that cold air from outside doesn’t get in—and the warm air inside doesn’t get out. Drafts around windows are harder to deal with—the next two tips will help with that and show you another way to keep a house warm without central heating.

Put up curtains

Curtains act like wall-length “draft dodgers” and can help keep cold air at bay. Heavier cloth will be more effective than lighter fabrics, and dark colors will absorb warmth. However, during the day you’ll want to catch as much light as you can and, if the sun is shining, letting the light in is the best way to heat a house without central heating. Transparent plastic shower curtains do a great job at letting in light and keeping out drafts from windows, and even heat up a space more when the sun is really shining.

Bubble wrap your windows

If you don’t want to choose between heavier cloth curtains and letting in sunlight, you can also apply bubble wrap directly to glass windows to keep in the heat during the day. Simply spray the window very lightly with a misting of water, and stick the bubble wrap, bubble-side first, onto the window. This should stay put and you won’t need to use scotch tape to keep it in place. You can, of course, use scotch tape in case this doesn’t work, but it may affect the paint when you take it off. Glue isn’t advised here.


Cooking using the oven or stove is a great solution for keeping a house warm without central heating. The heat produced using these appliances will also transfer to your environment, making the kitchen nice and cozy. This is why baking and slow cooking isn’t a great idea in summer, when it can be hard to keep a house cool. Now that you’re facing the winter months, however, using the oven and stove is ideal. Note that the microwave or teakettle won’t produce the same heat for your environment, so instant noodles or microwave meals won’t have the same effect.

Other measures for how to keep your house warm without heat

Smaller measures that you can take to keep a house warm without central heating include:

  • Lighting candles – Be careful where you put them, though, and never leave them unattended
  • Putting down rugs or carpets – This will help insulate the floors
  • Keeping a hot water bottle handy – OK, this won’t keep your house warm, but it’ll keep you warm and cozy.

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