Best Practices for Retaining Heat in your Home During Winter
by Karl Holt.
As the fall weather gives way to sharp temperature drops for winter, you’ll want to make the most of your home heating. Here are some tips to keep comfortable as the temperature drops.
Home Energy Audit
Before the cold weather sets in, consider a home energy audit. During the audit, a specialist from your electric company will evaluate your insulation, appliances, windows and doors, and other structural features for any signs of drafts and inefficient energy usage. Address any potential issues that are identified, whether it means adding spray foam insulation or sealing cracks that are causing drafts.
Your doors and window frames probably have weather stripping along the inside edge and bottom. Check the condition of the weather stripping to make sure that it is still effective. If it’s dried, cracked, damaged, or falling off, remove it and replace it with fresh material. This will seal gaps around the edges of these spaces, reducing drafts. Learn how to properly weatherstrip a door from this DIY tutorial from The Family Handy Man.
Depending on the type of heat that your home has, you may find that your heating is uneven. This can be caused by some energy loss as the heated air travels through air ducts, or due to poor air distribution.
Ease the demand on your heating system by using small space heaters in areas that you use most frequently. If you have a wood stove or a fireplace, maximize the natural heat production from those. Set up a small fan in front of them to help push the warm air throughout the house.
Windows are one of the most common culprits for heat loss in a home. If you have single pane glass in your windows, you are likely losing heat through the glass. Consider replacing the glass panels with double or triple pane glass for more insulation.
If you can’t afford the investment in new glass for your home’s windows, you can still check the insulation around the window to ensure its effectiveness in trapping in the heat. You can find replacement window insulation at your local hardware store for a relatively low price.
You can potentially save hundreds of dollars in energy costs this year by making these simple home improvements. The more steps you can take to reduce heat loss, the more comfortable your home will be through the winter.