28 July 2020

How to Keep the Winter Chills Out of Your House

Winter Chills Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

If you’re wondering how to keep the cold out of your house, but aren’t sure how to do it effectively and for a low cost, we’re here to provide you with reasonable, inexpensive solutions. Staying warm and cozy during the winter is possible, even if you have a drafty home or apartment, with these tips.

1. Seal up any drafty doors.

Loosely-fitting doors are one of the biggest ways that drafts enter the home. Keep the cold out of your house by placing a draft stopper under or in front of the door. A under-the-door draft stopper goes under the bottom of the door, creating a seal that doesn’t allow drafts through. A draft stopper placed in front of the door is similar, but may not provide the same level of draft protection.

2. Cover up drafts underneath cabinets.

An unlikely place may be allowing drafts into your home- underneath cabinets that are attached to exterior walls. Especially in older homes, these cabinets are the perfect mechanism for the winter chill to enter your home. Place draft stoppers underneath cabinets, or use old towels or blankets to cover up the draft.

3. Replace or seal old windows.

If your windows are not energy-efficient, they are likely allowing drafts in and will have a tough time keeping the heat inside of your home. Replacing old windows with newer, energy-efficient windows is a costly expense at first, but it can save you thousands on heating bills in the future. If you aren’t ready to splurge on new windows, you can also use a plastic window insulation kit that effectively keeps out drafts and doesn’t cost a lot to install.

4. Install insulating curtains.

Thick curtains with special insulating technology can help keep the cold out of your house. These energy-efficient curtains are thicker than traditional curtains and block sunlight as well as drafts. They’re an inexpensive way to keep windows and sliding-glass doors from allowing heat to seep out. Add another protective layer by placing mini blinds or shades over the windows or sliding-glass doors before putting the curtains up.

5. Keep doors closed.

If you have a two-story home, it can be difficult to regulate on both levels. The upstairs is always hot and the downstairs is always cold. Keep the downstairs warmer by shutting doors leading to the upstairs. This will allow the heat to stay downstairs instead of creeping upstairs where it’s really not needed. The upstairs will still stay warm because heat rises and will seep up through the floor boards and through the floor vents.

6. Ensure no heat vents are blocked.

Heat vents should be free of any furniture, curtains, or other items that may block the flow of air. Walk around your home and inspect each heat vent and ensure that it’s completely clear and uncovered. If you find one that’s not, move the object away from the heat vent to allow air to flow freely. You may be surprised how many of your heat vents are covered up or don’t have enough open space to work properly.

7. Cover up a fireplace when it’s not in use.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you know how warm it can get your house when it’s being used. This can drastically reduce home heating costs, but if the fireplace is left open when it’s not in use, it can allow a big draft in and suck all the warm air out. Keep the flue closed or close fireplace doors when you don’t have a fire going. This will allow you to still enjoy those cozy fires when you want them, but keep your furnace running efficiently when you don’t.

8. Consider using ceiling fans.

Heat rises, which means a lot of heat ends up stuck at the top of your ceiling. Using a ceiling fan set in the clockwise position can force warm air down, keeping the room warmer for longer periods of time and making your furnace run less often. When winter’s over, simply switch your ceiling fan back to the counter-clockwise position.

9. Seal up any exterior cracks in the foundation.

Foundation cracks can cause several problems, including a drafty home. Before the winter season hits, walk around the exterior of your home and look for any cracks. Small cracks can be filled in with caulk. Larger cracks may affect the foundation of the home and will need the consultation of a professional in order to be repaired.

10. Adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat.

Reduce home energy costs by turning the heat down a degree or two when you’re sleeping or not home and turning it up when you are home. Even changing the setting a degree can mean big savings on your heating bill. Covering up with a heavy blanket at night doesn’t sound so bad when you can save hundreds of dollars a year on your gas and electric bill.

11. Have your furnace serviced yearly.

Yearly routine maintenance on a furnace can detect small problems before they turn into major ones. It can also allow your furnace to run more efficiently, so you can keep the cold out of your house. A professional HVAC company will clean the unit, replace the filter, and perform a check for any gas leaks to ensure your furnace is running properly. Some companies also offer a home energy audit, where they will thoroughly check your home for any potential problems that could cause high energy bills.

It doesn’t have to be hard or costly to keep the cold out of your house. Stay cozy this winter and make it a more enjoyable experience by following these tips to keep drafts out of your home and your furnace running efficiently. You and your loved ones will be happy that you did, especially on those nights when the wind is howling outside and you are inside, safe and warm.