Staying warm during winter is a never-ending battle for homeowners. While you want to be comfortable and find relief from the cold temperatures outside, you also don’t want to risk running up a huge energy bill at the end of the month. Want to stay warm without draining away your bank account? It may not be as hard as you think. Here are a few tips you can follow that will help you stay warm in winter without requiring you to constantly run your heater.
When it comes to saving money, air leaks are perhaps one of the most annoying and effective wallet zappers you’ll have to deal with. Even small cracks can allow precious heated air to escape outside and cold air to leak in, forcing you to heat your home more often and increasing your struggle to stay comfortable. All the while, your heating bills continue to climb.
Fortunately, air leaks are usually in fairly predictable places and that makes them easy to detect and seal away. Check around your windows and doors to investigate the condition of any weather stripping. This stripping should be replaced every few years as it naturally wears out with exposure to sunlight. If you notice the weather stripping is cracked, replace it. Finally, check the caulking and sealing material where your walls meet your windows, doors, or vents. Like weather stripping, this material can wear out, so simply remove this old seal and replace it with a fresh one.
The insulation in your home is what separates the cold air on the outside from the warm, treated air on the inside. This material should be light-weight, but provide a great barrier that keeps the two different heat zones separated. Generally, this is found in either spray foam or fiberglass sheets in most homes. Insulation that is missing, allowing the air in your home to come in direct contact with the drywall facing outside your home, should be replaced and sealed with more drywall. Furthermore, any damaged insulation, including that which has torn, disintegrated, or become wet and deformed, should be replaced and re-covered.
Finally, check in your attic to see if the floor has been properly insulated. Heat rises, which means it will naturally try to push through the cracks in your ceiling to your attic. That means any cracks in your ceiling could wind up coming back to hurt you when your heating bill comes in the mail. Consider having a professional coat the floor of your attic with spray foam to properly insulate it and protect against heat loss through this extremely common source.
Fire is one of nature’s best heat sources, so why not use it to your advantage? Lighting candles in various rooms of your home can not only combat odors that develop after weeks or months of having your doors and windows constantly shut, but they can also warm the room they’re in. Additionally, if you have a fireplace, throw a few logs in it and light them up. A fireplace can provide a ton of warmth for a large chunk of your house, allowing you to keep your heater shut off completely. Just make sure you don’t plan on leaving to go anywhere while the fire is still lit.
Finally, the sun is our solar system’s largest ball of fire and nature’s great warmth provider, so why ignore it? During the day, open your blinds and curtains to allow natural light and the warmth it brings to flood into your home. Just be sure you close them again when the sun goes down so your heat doesn’t go back to escaping through your glass.
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