Before the brunt of winter hits, you need to prepare your home so you won’t have to suffer the cold weather. Whether your home is brand new or is 100 years old, almost every house has drafts. When these drafts are left unattended, things can get worse during chills. These un-insulated spaces will not only raise heating costs by allowing cold air in, but they also let moisture and little critters to get in.
With winter looming and the cost of utilities on the rise, these ideas would help you to stay warm during the cold season and save a few bucks while doing so.
1. Seal all leaks including doors and windows
Doors and windows are the most common offenders for heat loss throughout your home. Maintaining your door and windows is very important to keep the heat entrapped in and the cold out. You can test your doors and windows by passing a lit stick of incense over the edges. If the smoke is blown into or sucked out of your home than you are losing warmth and energy through these leaks.
Caulking and weatherstripping is a sure way of dealing with drafty windows and doors. Caulking on windows degrades and wear over time. So simply re-caulk old windows to help seal out drafts. You can also use these little door snakes made with weighted fabric tubes to block the unwanted chill.
2. Let the sun Shine
If you’re lucky to have a burst of still-warm sunshine on south-facing windows, open up those curtains and let the light shine in. This would help you trap the heat from the natural free furnace. So, before you go out or leave your room, open your blinds or curtains for a good part of the day.
Once the sun is down, close those drapes and curtains. You can also use insulated curtains for winter as it prevents some of the warmth in your home from escaping.
3. Utilize Space Heaters
Families use space heaters to add some extra quick warmth to their homes or a drafty room. Whether you have central heating or not, these heaters can help you save energy and keep nice and warm during long winter months. Space heaters are a hundred percent efficient because they convert all the electric energy to heat.
These indoor heaters can make your large rooms feel cozy and warm as quickly possible. They are ultra-efficient and well-equipped to heat up to 1400 cubic feet. Above all, they are portable to you can easily carry or roll it to your bedroom, living room, or any other space.
There are ceramic space heaters and radiator-style heaters available in a variety of styles and sizes. Ceramic heaters are good at circulating warm air by using a fan but are noisier than the radiator-style space heaters.
4. Add layers to wooden Floors – Carpets & Rugs
Your floorboards account for about 15-20 percent heat loss from your home that can event mount to 30% in case they are shaky and let in drafts. That’s where you can prepare your ground by insulating with carpets and rugs. Carpet is a natural insulator that keeps much more heat than other creaky flooring options like hardwood, tiles, and laminates.
Carpeting not only makes your feet feel toasty but also helps reduce that chilly edge to the air that winter often brings. In turn, it leads to a drop in your energy bills and heating costs by keeping in more heat. But remember, not all carpets are alike in terms of their insulating value. Quality materials like wool, corn fiber, nylon, and wool blend have greater heating insulation properties. You can even enhance the insulation quality of the carpet by cushioning.
5. Trap & spread heat from the radiator
Radiator heaters work on an old-fashioned way of keeping your room warm by heating the air using convection to transfer heat from the radiator to surrounding air. There are electric radiators and steam radiators out there each having its pros and cons.
A very crucial aspect of radiator heating is that it requires proper airflow around the unit to effectively disperse heat around the home. If there’s anything that’s blocking the airflow then it’s nearly impossible for it to thoroughly heat your home. So generating heat is not a problem but getting it across your room is challenging.
So, to facilitate heat dispersion, you can use tinfoil. Just put a special reflective radiator foil on the back and this will reflect heat to your room instead of letting it disappear through the wall. If there is any furniture blocking the airflow towards the radiator, you should move it away.
The next thing you can do with your radiator is to trap the heat from the top and let is spread evenly through the room. You can use a floating shelf above the radiator, for this purpose.
6. Try a fireplace plug
Did you know, about 20% of your home’s warm air escapes through loose fireplace damper? You can prevent this loss by using a draft stopper for your chimney – a fireplace plug. It is an inflatable urethane plug that comes in various shapes and sizes but can be adapted to work in all fireplaces even if you have unusual construction.
7. Try Radiant Heat Floors
It is without a doubt that under-floor heating is the coziest way to warm your toes. Radiant floor heating is a popular trend that provides warmth from the floor up throughout the room without any cold spots or stuffiness. Whether you go for the electric-based or water-based radiant floor heating, they provide consistent and efficient warmth.
It doesn’t require frequent maintenance and guarantee for total peace of mind. Some people prefer radiant heat floors over traditional radiators that sometimes make your room feel chilly and too hot at other times. But with radiant floor heating, you can preset the desired temperature by using a wall-mounted thermostat. It also provides much better air quality by keeping your room air fresh and oxygen-rich.
8. Look for the filthy filters
Most people don’t give furnace much thought as far as it’s keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer. But for optimal performance of your furnace and to prevent a possible malfunction you have to change or clean your furnace filters regularly.
These filters can be easily clogged by dust, dirt, and other particles thereby causing heating (and cooling) troubles. So make sure you replace a disposable filter every six months preferably before the beginning of winter season. Insulate outlets of exterior walls
9. Insulate drafty outlets
A drafty outlet in your exterior wall is a hidden killer. It not only let heat escape from your home during winter but also allow heat to seep in during summers. You can test your outlets by holding an incense stick or smoke pen carefully in front of an outlet and if you feel cold air then, you’re losing heat and money. You can insulate outlets in your exterior wall by using foam gaskets, socket sealers, and outlet insulating kits. They are light on your pocket but are heavy in terms of perks.