How To Make a House Warmer In Winter
Winter is right around the corner, for some people in some areas of the US, fall feels more like winter. Learning how to make a house warmer in winter can amp up your comfort level, and save you some money.
The average home spends about $1945 on cooling and heating costs. These tips for how to make a house warmer in winter can help to trim that cost down while creating a warm inviting atmosphere.
First Tip On How To Make A House Warmer In Winter
The first thing you should do when you want to learn how to make a house warmer in winter is to get any necessary repairs done. A faulty furnace is not only not going to keep your house warm in winter it is also going to burn through energy.
Furnace repair can help to keep your house warm in winter, and more importantly will reduce the risk of some very serious problems. A faulty furnace can be a danger. If you are not sure if your furnace is working as it should call in an expert before you ever turn it on.
Contact a local HVAC company that offers inspection and tune-up services to ensure your furnace is highly functional, safe, and ready for the winter. Having your furnace checked out can reveal problems that may be minor and easily repairable.
While your furnace will be the star of the show this winter, it is not the only repairs you should be made to help with how to make a house warmer in winter. The fall is a good time to tackle roof maintenance in the name of keeping the house warm in winter. Your roof is like a hat for your home. A lot of heat can escape through a damaged roof. Getting the repairs done now before the cold winter weather arrives can help you to keep your house toasty warm throughout the winter.
Other Changes That Have a Huge Difference In Energy Use and Warmth
The experts estimate that you lose about 30% of your heating energy through old windows and doors. New energy efficient windows can be a game-changer and an easy solution for how to make a house warmer in winter.
If you have been considering some home improvements, investing in new windows and doors can be a great place to put your money. You will instantly start realizing savings on energy costs and your house will instantly start feeling warmer.
Replacement windows are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They deliver protection from the elements and offer the added benefits of:
- Little to no maintenance
- Noise canceling properties to keep outdoor noise where it belongs
- Improved aesthetics for your house
Residential door replacement and window replacement can help you to make a house warmer in winter and greatly reduce energy costs. If you planned on some home improvement anyway this fall this can be a great project to start with if you are looking for how to keep a house warm in winter.
Insulation is key when it comes to how to make a house warm in winter. Most people think of the pink rolls of insulation and their attic. While it is very important to make sure your attic is insulated, it is not the only area of concern.
In most cases you will have to call in contractors that specialize in retrofitting homes with insulation if you want to pump insulation into your walls, but there are some insulation projects you can easily do as DIY projects.
Here are some areas you can insulate on your own with products readily available from your local home improvement supply store:
- Insulate behind switch plates and outlet covers. Every home improvement store sells insulation that goes behind your outlet and switch plate covers. They are little rectangular foam pieces that have cut-outs in the shape of the covers. You simply unscrew the cover, place the insulation, and screw the cover back on. If you place your hand over your outlet and feel the cold coming in, you need to get some insulation behind it.
- Exposed pipes. Pipes that are coming into the home often have a hole that is larger than the pipe. You want to seal up the excess areas of the hole, and you want to cover the pipe with an insulation sleeve.
- Windows and doors. If new windows and doors are not in the budget this year, insulate and repair the ones you have right now. Check rubber moldings and replace them if necessary. Seal cracks with caulk around sashes. You can also buy a film that you can place over the entire window if you have single-pane windows to add a layer of protection.
Adding insulation is vital to protect your house from the cold. If you are searching for how to make a house warmer in winter, insulation is a great place to start. Insulation acts like a blanket for areas of your house. It provides that additional barrier between the outside and the inside. Make it a weekend project to get your house prepared for the winter.
As a side note if you live in an older home that was built prior to the 1980’s you do want to be careful not to disturb certain areas because asbestos was a common building material and insulator, and it can become a problem when disturbed. Of course, if you do suspect that asbestos materials were used when building your home, you should consider professional asbestos removal before you make any major changes.
Other Areas of Concern
If you have a pool that is above ground covering may not be the best option. A covered pool can still become a frozen pool, which of course can mean a broken pool that spills a lot of cold water into the house.
You have a couple of options to prevent problems with your pool in the winter. You can cover it with a solar heated cover which will help to prevent freezing. You can also take it down and store it for the winter.
Newer inground pools are often outfitted with heaters that can be switched on to ensure that the water does not freeze over. Of course, you can also cover inground pools and use a solar-heated covering system.
While pools and hot tubs do not have a lot to do with how to make a house warmer in winter, it is important that they are addressed while you are getting your house ready for winter. Dealing with outside structures before the winter sets in means you will not have to deal with them in the cold weather.
Close Off What You Do Not Use
Many people find themselves not using several rooms in their home. Maybe you are an empty nester, or you have a guest room that you do not use. If that is the case, closing heating vents in those rooms and keeping the doors closed can help with how to keep a house warm in winter.
There is no sense in heating up a space that you never enter, closing off space can make it easier to keep the rest of the house warm. Space heaters can be expensive to run but can help to keep a house warm when used correctly.
Do be careful not to let rooms get too cold that have plumbing in them like your guest bathroom. You do not want to risk freezing pipes and the headache that they can cause. If you do not use your upstairs attic space and there is a door, use heavy plastic sheeting to cover it, this will force the heat to stay downstairs.
How To Make A House Warmer in Winter On the Cheap
If the budget is tight you can still take some steps to keep your house warm in winter. For example, if you have radiators in your home place some tin foil behind the radiator so that the heat is reflected back into the room. Just tape the tinfoil to the wall.
If you have a fireplace that you do not use cover the opening by taping a plastic shower curtain in front of it. It is not the prettiest fix, but it will help to keep the cold out and the warm in. Make sure the flue is closed on the chimney to keep heat from escaping.
Bales of hay placed around the foundation can help with heat loss as well. You do want to take some precautions though with this trick because mice will move in if you are not careful. It is estimated that about 10% of heat loss happens through your floors. Bales of hay around the foundation can help to stop the losses.
Area rugs on hard surface floors can also help to mitigate some of the loss of heat. If you get really desperate this winter and you want to know how to keep a house warm in winter, use blankets. Taping blankets in front of old windows, and even to the walls, can help to stop the cold. Of course, no one wants to live with blankets taped to their walls, but in a case of an emergency, it can keep the house warm enough until you can get your heat restarted again.
The plastic shower curtain trick can also work with large bay windows. The shower curtain is thicker than the window film kits and can get the job done. You can buy a good quality plastic shower curtain for less than ten bucks. This can be a great option for large windows and even sliding glass patio doors.
Whenever you finish cooking or baking, turn the oven off, and leave the door open. This will allow the excess heat to escape into the house. You are already paying for the energy, you might as well use it. Winter baking can mean adding extra heat to your house at no additional cost. Be sure to keep kids and pets away from the oven when the door is open.
Make sure airflow is not blocked. Move any furniture that is covering vents. Flip the switch on ceiling fans to reverse so you can blow the hot air down from the ceiling. Remember hot air always rises. Switching the ceiling fans to reverse can help to bring down some of that heat.
How To Make a House Warmer In Winter In an Emergency
What do you do when the power goes out and so does your heat? Having a contingent plan of how you will keep your house warm when the power goes out is important. If your power goes out and you lose your source of heat in the winter, it is vital that you know what to do.
Here are some tips for dealing with losing heat in the winter and protecting your house:
- Immediately shut doors to all the rooms, and choose a room where the family can sit and wait for the heat to return. This may mean that the whole family will sleep in the living room with sleeping bags to stay warm. Keeping everyone together and shutting down the other rooms will centralize what heat is left, and of course, create body heat to help keep things warmer.
- Leave the faucets dripping. Moving water freezes slower. Keep your faucets open to a drip to keep the pipes from freezing.
- Use blankets on the windows. Taping blankets to the windows can help to keep the cold out temporarily.
Having a contingency plan to deal with a no heat situation can help to ensure that your house can survive until the power comes back on. Keep sleeping bags and other necessary equipment in one central location that you will be able to get to in the dark.
Learning how to make a house warmer in winter especially during an emergency can help to keep your family and house safe. Taking a few extra steps can help you survive the cold without a heat source.
If you follow all the tips above, your house will be toasty warm this winter, and you will be able to save some money while you are at it.