With fall almost here and cold weather looming on the horizon it’s time to get ready for winter! Keeping your home warm and cozy isn’t difficult if you take the time to prepare with some of these tips:
One surefire way of keeping your home comfortable and warm when you are around is to install a programmable thermostat. Setting your thermostat to fit your schedule can save you heating bills by not wasting energy heating a space when you aren’t home. There are even ‘smart’ thermostats that can learn your heating and cooling habits and program itself. The NEST claims to be able to lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 20% while offering remote programming through apps on your smartphone. If you’re looking for something more simple with plenty of functionality check out some of Honeywell’s 7-Day programmable thermostats.
Not all rooms in your home have the same ability to contain heat. Rooms with more than one outside-facing wall will have more trouble retaining heat — the same goes for areas with many windows. While making sure your doors and windows have decent insulation is the most effective way to counter this problem, this can be expensive and time-consuming. A more cost-effective way to make sure these rooms get some warmth is to get a stand-alone radiator or space heater. There are wide variety of hardware that can fit almost any budget and come in both hardwired and plug-in options. Even some Heated Towel Racks can generate enough heat to be effective space heaters: These keep specific spaces warm and dry, allowing you to save money by not wasting energy heating your entire home. These work especially well in bathrooms to help keep them warm and dry.
Insulation and Seals:
Keeping cold out and heat in is difficult when windows and doors are not sealed and insulated. GoodHouseKeeping.com estimates that 10–20 percent of your heating bill is due to faulty windows alone. While having a professional inspect your home is the best way of identifiying problem areas there are ways of helping improve your insulation yourself:
- Open blinds during the day to let sun in. At dusk, close them to trap heat.
- Hang drapes to help block drafts from where the window meets the frame.
- Inspect weather stripping around exterior doors. Old, cracked, or gone? Replace.
- Improve the seal of interior doors (like the one to the garage) by attaching a sweep. Sold at hardware stores, these flexible plastic strips are easily screwed to door bottoms, and keep cold air out from below.
- Apply both interior and exterior caulking to fill gaps around window frames. If cold air is coming in around the sashes, install appropriate weather stripping.
Courtesy of GoodHouseKeeping
Do you have any tips for keeping your home warm in the winter? Let us know in the comments!