Being warm and comfortable in the winter is about more than just turning up the thermostat and wearing warmer clothes. There are many things we can do around our home to help keep heat in and produce more heat. Here are some tips from your trusted general contractor to staying warm in your home this winter.
1. In your bathroom make sure you don’t have cold air blowing back into the house by making sure your bathroom fans/vents have draft blockers or baffles on the outside.
2. Flip the switch on your ceiling fans to reverse them in the spring and fall. Your fan should be blowing the heat that rises back down towards you in the winter. If you have heated floors, turn off the ceiling fans, if you have forced air heat, turn them on.
3. Close the vents and doors in rooms you do not use often. Be careful of rooms that have plumbing ran and make sure they do not get cold enough to freeze pipes.
4. In the rooms you do use often, make sure that all vents are open and not blocked by furniture, rugs, or anything else.
5. A snow fence can be a great way to control where snow drops and control drifting, improving outside ventilation.
6. If you are not using your chimney make sure both the flue and draft (if equipped) are closed. Heat can get sucked right out of your home through your open chimney. If it will be left unused indefinitely consider a fireplace insulation insert.
7. Check non-living areas such as crawl spaces and utility areas for uninsulated hot water/ radiator pipes. If there are any, insulate them. You don’t want good heat going to unnecessary places.
8. You can use pipe insulation or pool noodles to block off gaps under interior or exterior doors to stop airflow from cold areas to warm areas.
9. Accesses to attics and crawl spaces can be a large factor in major heat loss. Make sure your access doors or openings are very well insulated.
10. You can let heat from the sun into your home by uncovering any south facing windows during sunny days.
11. Pick up some insulated window coverings. You can get custom made insulating cellular shades made specifically for your window measurements or consider insulating curtains to keep heat in.
12. Interior window insulation can be applied to windows fairly easily and can be combined with shades or curtains to amp up the heat keeping power.
13. Purchase a small, clean burning portable propane heater. You can use these to add heat to the areas you need it only when you need it.
14. Layer up. wear warmer clothes, keep throw blankets handy. Make an effort to stay warmer without turning up the thermostat.