Doesn't the idea of a nice, long, warm bath or shower sound great-particularly on a cold winter morning? However, if your next thought is how awful it will feel to step out of that hot water into your cold bathroom-there's some hope for you. Here's some ideas on how you can keep your bathroom experience cozy and warm on even the coldest winter days-and none of them involve the time or expense of doing a bathroom renovation.
Hold your hand near the edge of your window. Feel a little draft? How about where the window sections cross over each other; is there a draft along the overlap? Air will penetrate even the tiniest gaps and you need to make sure you have seamless caulking (around the edges) and good weather stripping (where the two pieces overlap each other).
Apply new silicon caulking around the window edges and replace any worn or flattened weather stripping on your windows.
Touch your bathroom window. Feel cold? That cold will radiate right into your bathroom making the whole room feel cold. Fix the problem by installing see-through plastic window film over the entire window, including the casings.
Stretch the film over the window unit, then take your hair dryer and blow warm air on it. The film will shrink nice and tight allowing you to see out and the sun to shine in. You've just created a temporary storm window that prevents cold from radiating into your bathroom through the window glass, and is virtually invisible. Once warm weather arrives, just peel off the window film.
Change your shower head and take a longer shower. Showers generate lots of nice, warm steam, but the idea that you're wasting all that energy (as well as costing yourself extra money) means most of us get in and out fairly quickly. New shower heads that use very little hot water (2 gallons per minute versus the more typical 5 to 8 GPM) are readily available and easy to install. Most just screw onto the existing shower arm.
Consider installing a heat lamp in your bathroom. Modern heat lamps are reliable and give off a substantial amount of heat-enough to make sure your bathroom is warm and toasty when you step out of the shower. Most come with a timer, so you don't need to worry about leaving the heat lamp on all day.
Install a heating towel rack. This can be as simple as plugging one in. Lots of different and attractive designs are available, including some free-standing models that you just place near a wall outlet and plug in. You'll have a bunch of warm, dry towels waiting when you step out of the shower.
After you've had the steamy shower experience, make sure you use that steam from your bathroom. Simply leaving the door open will allow the steam out of the room and into the rest of the house where it will add valuable moisture to your indoor air (And help make the rest of the rooms feel warmer. Plus, you won't need to pay for electricity to power your exhaust fan).
Never install a heat lamp in a regular light fixture. Have an electrician do a safe installation, or follow instructions in the eHow article, "How to Wire a Bathroom Heat Lamp" (see Resources below).