The cold winter months don’t have to mean high energy bills and running your furnace into the ground. With a few simple hacks, you can keep your home warm and toasty all winter long. Here are a few ways to fight the chill this winter.
Windows are a huge reason why cold air may be seeping into your home and warm air is leaking out. If your windows are old and drafty, but replacing them isn’t in the cards (or budget) right now, try keeping them covered. You can use bubble or plastic wrap, or try a kit that contains everything you need to seal them up – including plastic film and tape. Can’t stand the sight of plastic on your windows? Only apply it in rooms that aren’t seen as often, even a few will help.
Be mindful of your drapes as well. When it’s dark and dreary outside, keep the drapes closed to help keep cold air from entering the room. But if the sun is shining, pull the drapes back and let that natural warmth filter in.
Fiddle with your Furnace
You should leave any major fixes to the heating professionals, but there are a couple measures you can try on your own. If you have a forced-air system, consider changing your furnace filter. This can save you energy while minimizing dust and other contaminants floating around your house. Your furnace filter should be changed monthly during the winter when it is used often.
Being mindful of your thermostat can also help. Overnight and when you are at work for the day, turn the heat down a few degrees. You just might save on heating costs and sleep better. If something seems off with your furnace or thermostat, call in a heating expert to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Give Caulking and Weatherstripping a Whirl
Caulking and weatherstripping seal in the air to avoid cold air coming in and warm air going out. This also works vice versa in the warmer months. Caulk is typically used for cracks and openings that are stationary, such as around door and window frames. Weatherstripping is used to seal the non-stationary components, including doors and windows.
Show an Interest in Insulation
Good insulation can help lower heating and cooling costs. Older homes tend to have less insulation than brand new ones, and adding it will be worth the investment. You’ll need to figure out where the insulation is lacking in your home, what type you have and will need, and the R-value of the insulation that you currently have. You can hire someone to inspect the insulation in your home or evaluate it yourself.
Ditch the Draft
Do you feel cold air seeping through under your doors? Luckily, there’s a really easy fix! An insulated door draft blocker is a long thin bag that is filled with materials to block up the space under your door to prevent drafts.
If all else fails, get cozy! Pull out your warmest socks, wrap up in a robe, have an abundant supply of throw blankets, and toss rugs down on cold, hard floors. Maybe light a fire and relax with some hot tea or cocoa. Try some of these tips and you’ll be warming up in no time.