With winter getting closer by the day, many people are starting to think about ways they can winterize their home. Staying warm and saving money on energy costs are a priority and a challenge for many, especially for people living in very cold regions and in older homes. Other than moving to Florida to wait out the winter, there are some low-cost and easy steps you can take to make your house as cozy and energy efficient as possible during the cold season.
Winterizing your home is something that ideally should be done before the weather gets frigid. If you get the job done before the first snowfall, you will have a much better chance of avoiding serious and costly plumbing, heating and maintenance issues. Some general winterizing preparation measures include storing away summer lawn tools, wrapping windows in a protective layer of plastic to keep the cold drafts out, changing the furnace filter, cleaning out the gutters, turning down the water heater and the thermostat temperatures, sealing air ducts, having the pipes inspected for blockages or leaks, and installing storm windows and doors.
Other low budget ideas that often go overlooked involve making just a few simple changes. For example, using your curtains to trap in the heat from the sun is an easy way to save money and heat. Open the curtains and let the sunlight in during the day and when it gets dark, shut the curtains so they function as another layer of insulation. Another simple change is moving your couch. While it feels nice to have your couch situated right next to the heater, its placement is causing the couch to absorb heat that could be better used warming your home. Simply move the couch away from the heating source so that the warm air can circulate freely.
Likewise, key holes and mailboxes can let in more cold air than you may think. By covering them you will keep the hot air in and the cold air out, and you will be surprised by what a big difference this can make. Shutting off rooms that are not being used regularly, such as an extra bedroom or a dining room, is also an effective method in keeping the house warmer because it forces the heat to circulate only in the rooms that are being used. Installing soft high quality carpets also goes a long way in adding both a physical and psychological sense of warmth to a home, according to Double J’s Installations.
Finally, there is also a lot that a person can do to stay warm that has nothing to do with the home. Wearing fleece sweatshirts, warm socks and a scarf or hat in the house take zero effort and can make a huge difference in a person’s comfort level.
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