We are always want to find ways to improve our homes, but what about home improvement during the Winter months? If you think there is nothing to do until Spring arrives, think again! Winter is a time to get your house “winterized.” That’s right, just like you winterize your car, why wouldn’t you winterize your house? Don’t you spend more time in your house than in your car?
What do we mean by winterize? We mean, “keeping the warmth in and the cold out.” There is no better time than now to make sure your home is properly insulated. This means there are no drafts, or air leaking in or out of windows, doors, baseboards, attics, and even your walls.
If you think spending money on quality windows or insulating an attic is a waste of money, think again. These improvements will actually pay for themselves, while saving you money on your energy bill. Being energy efficient will keep you warm, lower heating costs and increase the value of your property. Not only will you curb your costs, but these fixes are also pretty simple to do.
Seal Your WindowsOne of the easiest fixes is to the windows. Although replacing windows with those heavy-duty all-weather kind is an option, it may not be necessary. Feel around your window where the weather stripping is located. If you feel air coming in, or it looks worn to you, replace it. If the entire window feels drafty, buy thermal blackout drapes, or cover your window with film. Look for heavy duty window treatments that will keep drafts to a minimum, especially at night, when the sun’s natural heat is not available to warm up your room. Window film, or even clear plastic wrap can be stretched over window panels and sealed by taping the edges to the surrounding walls. Hit it with a hair dryer to shrink the wrap and then your done!
Check Your Doors for Gaps
Another easy fix is by sealing your doors. Try shaking your door. Does it move? If so, there are probably air leaks around the doorframe. Make sure you doors fit securely. Once you ensure that it is properly installed, but still find air leaks, use weather stripping to seal the doors. You can also purchase door sweeps, which are long metal or rubber extensions that can be screwed onto the bottom of the door to eliminate the gap between the door and the floor.
Insulate the attic
If you live in a home, as opposed to an apartment, you probably have an attic. Have you checked it see if it’s properly insulated? Insulation not only keeps your home warm in the winter, but it will keep it cool in the summer. And because heat rises, it’s essential that you check the insulation in your attic. Insulation is measured by “R” values, which tells you how much air can pass through. Keep this in mind when shopping for new insulation.
Run your hand along the baseboards in your home and check to see if you feel a draft. If you do, you’ll want to caulk around the baseboard or trim on all outer walls. Although it is such a small gap, that you think might not make a difference, it actually will. Think of it this way. There’s an eighth of an inch gap that runs along the entire 15 foot wall in your room, then there’s six rooms with two walls each that are letting such a small amount of air in. That’s 22.5 feet of space that is allowing heat to escape, and cold air come in.
Check Your Fireplace
Did you toast marshmallows in your fireplace last night? If so, you probably left the flue open during the night while the fire burned out. But now it is morning, and it’s cold! Don’t forget to close the flue first thing in the morning. If you have a hard time remembering, set a reminder on your phone, or put a sticky note on the refrigerator to remember when you awake.
Making all of these small but necessary improvements to your home, will drastically help in keeping your home warm in the winter. It’s a win-win situation with you staying warm and decreasing your energy bill at the same time!
Consult with our Service Providers!
There are several categories of service providers on ToolBoxExperts that you can consult with to help equip your home for the Winter months to keep the cold out, and the warmth in! Consult with one of our General Construction or Handyman service providers if you are looking to insulate, seal or caulk. Consult with one of our Plumbing and Heating or Electrical service category providers regarding modern heating solutions for your home.