With the winter coming on and things starting to feel a bit chillier around the house, it’s always good to make sure your home is ready for the cold weather. While there are a number of ordinary ways to get your house winter-ready, including replacing all screens with glass windows and removing your air conditioner units, there are a few extra tips you might not know about to get your home sealed up and ready to take on the gustiest of winter chills. With a bit of hard work around the house in the late fall months, you’ll be prepared to take on the season and lower your heating bill to save a ton of money. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started.
At the start of cooler weather, you’ve probably already gotten into the habit of replacing your summer screen windows and doors with more heavy duty material. When doing this, take a moment to go the extra mile by making sure you weatherize and weatherstrip each entryway from the outside as well as the inside. If you have any plastic or caulking material lying around, use it to plug up smaller holes leading into the more vulnerable areas of your home, like the basement or attic.
Replace Your Old Weatherstripping
A good job of weatherstripping should be able to last through a few hard winters. However, it’s a good idea to make sure your old weatherstripping is still doing its job. Do you see anything peeling off your windows or doors, or looking like it’s about to come off during the next big storm? If so, take a minute to reseal your current weatherstripping, or to replace it altogether. Simply pull off the old caulking or tacking and replace it from the outside and the inside to prevent unpleasant drafts.
Check Around Sockets for Drafts
Sometimes drafts come in through the most unlikely places. Namely,it’s those holes in and around the home that we never think to check. If you live in an older home, you might want to think about taking the face off your electrical sockets and filling the holes with insulation. While these holes may seem too small to create a big draft, the empty space around sockets can allow a lot of cold air to get in around the home over time. While you’re insulating these smaller holes, think about doing a larger insulation project on more troublesome areas like the attic or basement where a ton of drafts can start.
Invest in a Portable Heater
Central heating is a great way to keep toasty, but it can end up costing you a pretty penny over the long winter months. For smaller rooms like offices or guest rooms, use a portable heater to get a space nice and warm quickly. A portable heater typically works fast and can be turned off in smaller rooms where the heat gets easily trapped in. This is a great idea for chilly nights when you can heat up a smaller room before bed and drift to sleep before the chill sets in.
Use Your Fireplace
While we’re on the subject of heat-saving tricks, there are many ways to avoid the high cost of central heat throughout the winter. By using a portable heater to keep cozy, investing in a most cost-effective heating method like ThinkHeat propane delivery service, or simply using fireplace heat to keep the house warm, you’ll be able to drastically cut down on the heating bill. If you have a fireplace, take the opportunity to spend a few nights a week building a fire and enjoying the natural warmth of the hearth.
Seal Windows with Plastic
Even if you’ve done your best to weather-proof and weather-strip glass windows, they’re still vulnerable to drafts. If you really want to be diligent about keeping drafts out, try shrink-wrapping a sheet of plastic around the inside of your window using a hairdryer. It will provide a safe barrier to trap cold air in, and it won’t cost a thing. Use duct tape to seal the plastic at your window’s borders for extra protection.
Use Curtains and Rugs Strategically
Never underestimate the deployment of curtains made of heavy, dark-colored fabric when it comes to keeping cold air out. Windows are prone to leaks and need all the help they can get in order to keep from spilling cold air out into a room. Keeping a number of strategically-placed rugs is also a great idea, especially in typically colder areas like bathrooms.
If you’re living in an older house that doesn’t have the greatest insulation, you probably already know the value of chunky knit sweaters and turtlenecks. In addition to keeping warm through densely-knit fabrics, try layering up when you’re at home to increase body heat and rely less on central heating.
Use a Smart Thermostat
Many newer home heating and cooling systems are designed to help you make the most of out of your home’s heat production while conserving energy and keeping costs low. Taking the time to make simple heat-saving changes to your home by presetting your thermostat can be a perfect way to indulge in central heating while you’re home and keep the temperature low while you’re out. You can also preset your thermostat to drop lower at night so that you don’t have to waste energy on heating while you’re asleep.
Indulge in Steams
In the winter, self-care becomes even more important than usual. In addition to helping our bodies adjust to the colder temperature and boosting our immune systems, indulging in warm baths, showers, and steams every so often is a great way to get that extra bit of warmth and comfort during cold winter nights. Even taking the time to relax after a bath and enjoy the steam heat can help with circulation and lower stress levels. Having a steam or soak is also a perfect remedy for when you feel the beginnings of a cold coming on.