How to Keep Warm If There Is No Heat in Your House

If you lose your heat in the middle of the winter, it can be more than just an inconvenience—it can be a life-threatening event. Here’s how to stay warm.


Up next in First Aid: When Nature Attacks (14 videos)

The great outdoors can cause not-so-great injuries and illnesses. Know how to treat them with the advice in this Howcast video series about first aid.

You Will Need

  • Plastic wrap
  • Duct tape
  • Towels
  • Clothes
  • Blankets
  • Food
  • Water


  1. Step 1

    Shut doors and windows

    Make sure all doors and windows are securely shut. If you have storm windows, make sure that both the interior and exterior windows are closed.

  2. Step 2

    Seal windows

    Cover windows with clear plastic wrap and secure with duct tape. This will reduce heat loss through the windows while allowing sunlight to warm the interior of your home.

  3. Before sealing windows, make sure that your home’s ventilation system is unblocked and that your carbon monoxide detector is working.

  4. Step 3

    Draft-proof your doors

    Draft-proof doors by rolling up towels and lining them along the bottom of your doors.

  5. Step 4

    Dress in layers

    Put on multiple layers of clothing. The extra clothing itself will provide warmth, and the air between the layers acts as an insulator.

  6. Wool, flannel, and synthetics will keep you warmer than cotton or silk.

  7. Step 5


    Don’t forget hats and gloves. Your objective is to minimize the amount of exposed skin.

  8. Step 6

    Use blankets

    Now wrap yourself in a few thick blankets.

  9. Step 7

    Eat and drink

    Don’t forget to eat and drink. Your body needs fuel to produce heat, so stay well fed, and don’t skimp on the fats. Also, drink water, which will help your body process those calories.

  10. Stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Both will dehydrate you, making it harder for your body to generate heat.

  11. Step 8

    Stick together

    If you’re in this with other people, stay in the same room, or huddle together, so that you can benefit from each other’s body heat.

  12. Though igloos are made of snow, parts of the interior can reach 61° Fahrenheit, just from body heat.