By Great Lakes Window
It’s officially winter which means the cold weather is upon us. Warming up our homes without sending the thermostat and energy bills through the roof is a struggle many of us have. Strong winds and frigid temperatures are a recipe for cold air seeping in and making our homes uncomfortably chilly. Try out these 5 ways to keep your house warm this winter.
Insulation is one of your best lines of defense against a cold home. This is especially important if you live in an older home that was not built with energy efficiency in mind. First, you’ll need to figure out where the insulation is and how much you have. Energy.gov advises you to receive an energy assessment done by a professional, but if you’d like to figure it out for yourself you’ll need to know the following:
Here you’ll find further instructions on how to answer these questions and properly insulate your home. Your attic and walls are usually a good place to start.
Upgrading your windows to an energy efficient, vinyl option is the best way to keep the cold air outside
where it belongs. A two or three-paned glass pack and the right Low-E coating can do wonders to offer better insulated windows. More panes of glass filled with argon or krypton gas in-between provides up to 9 times the insulation of a single-pane window. Low-E coatings with lower U-values and higher SHGC reflects radiant heat back into the home, keeping the inside warm, and the cold outside during those long winter months. This effect also works in the summer, keeping cool, air conditioned air inside and the hot sun out.
Using window treatments wisely can help as well. If some warm sunshine peeks through, open your drapes to let it warm up your home. But as soon as the sun goes down, close your blinds to keep the warmth trapped in.
A lot of heat is lost through our floors, and no one wants to walk barefoot on a cold floor. Placing warm and fuzzy area rugs around the house can help keep in some of that heat and make playtime on the ground a lot more comfortable.
A programmable thermostat can help you save on heating bills by allowing you to set it at different
temperatures throughout the day. Try setting it up to 10◦ cooler while you are away at work or gone for a long period of time on the weekends. This way you’ll be able to warm it up with a little less guilt while you’re at home. Also, close the vents in any room of the home you aren’t using and put a draft stopper under the door to make sure the cold air stays put.
You already know that dressing warm while at home will help keep you from shivering, but there are a few other small tricks that will warm your home right up. Try baking something or cooking in the oven. The heat will warm up your kitchen and you’ll wind up with a healthy and tasty meal. You can also leave the bathroom door open during and after a shower to let some nice warm steam roll through the house. A heated blanket will make crawling into bed a dream, and close your fireplace damper when it’s not in use. That fire will make any room wonderfully cozy when it’s roaring, but once the flames are out the warm air will go right up the chimney.
Do you have tricks for how to keep your house warm on cold days? We’d love to hear them!