Currently, we are in the middle of the winter season. By now you have winterized your home and are living in the warmth whilst saving money and energy- or are you? Maybe you found an area that loses heat in your home more quickly than others, don’t panic- you can fix this. It is never too late to start winterizing your home, even if that means doing it in the middle of the season. Some of the main causes of heat loss are easily fixed. Here are some of the problem areas that should be monitored all season long to prevent unwelcome drafts and heat loss.
- Windows – Drafty windows are a major cause of heat and energy loss. Making sure that your windows are sealed tightly is a major step in winterizing your home. If you are looking for a quick fix, the easiest way to get rid of drafts is by re-caulking. Strip the already existing caulk around the window pane, and refinish the seals around each window. Another quick fix, is lowering the blinds. Before you go to bed, don’t forget to close all blinds, drapes and curtains. Cold can permeate through the glass of windows into your home. By lowering any blinds, drapes or curtains you are creating a barrier to block out the cold. A long term fix to solve any drafts you have, is to check what type of window you have. Older homes tend to have single pane windows, replacing your windows to Energy Star rated ones or purchasing storm windows for an extra barrier should do the trick.
- Doors – While you can’t control the cold winter air that comes into your home when you open the front door, you can control the draft when it’s closed. Check that all the seals are as tight as can be around the door, and have a proper amount of caulking around the frame and jamb. A simple way of finding high-draft areas is to check from outside the door at night to see if there is noticeable light coming through any cracks. While buying weatherstripping is the best way to seal those gaps, using a staple gun with some old cloth or rugs along the edges of gaps is a quick and effective fix. Once the door is officially closed for the night, place a draft snake along the bottom edge. You can purchase draft snakes, or you can get crafty and make one at home. All you need is rolled blankets or old tube socks; Fill them with sand or cat litter to add weight and keep out the drafts.
- Plumbing – Freezing pipes is a major problem that happens in the winter for many home owners. You want to make sure that any and all exposed pipes leading into your home are wrapped with heat tape and insulating foam. Any holes surrounding these pipes should be sealed using foam spray (this keeps any unwanted drafts and small shelter-seeking pests from getting in.) On nights that are supposed to get below the freezing point, keep any faucets inside or out dripping. This keeps the water moving in the pipes and prevents freezing.
- Attic/ Basement – It is no surprise that heat rises, this is especially noticeable in the hot summer months if you ever need to go into your attic. But during the winter, heat from your home seeps into your attic; small shelter-seeking pests such as squirrels chew through insulation and make nests in the warmth of the attic. Make sure to check your attic for any sign of this, and fix the problem as soon as it is found. Any area that has been compromised should be sealed with spray foam, caulk or more insulation.
- Flooring – It doesn’t matter if you have wood flooring or carpet in your home, during the cold winter months you can feel the difference when walking through your home. A great way to keep the cold from traveling through the floor is by putting down thick rugs and spreading them throughout the house. They will absorb the warm air, and trap cold air below.
Thank you to Off The Grid News for the original information. You can read more here.