Brrrr…winter has really been cold this year … and we have a month or so before warmer weather arrives. It is not too late to prepare your house for cold weather to keep warm and save energy.
The most important thing is to keep the cold air out. Typical leaky locations are electrical outlets, switch plates, door and window frames, attic hatches, dryer vents and plumbing, electrical, and cable connections in the exterior walls and floors. These leaks can be filled with caulk and/or insulation and the doors should be weather-stripped.
Your heating system should be maintained and the filters changed monthly for it to run at maximum efficiency. If you have a heat pump you can leave it running on low with the thermostat set back a few degrees when you leave the house to keep a base warmth inside.
Curtains with insulated liners will help block drafts from leaky windows, especially in Villas or Bungalows with single glazed windows. Be sure to open the curtains on north facing windows
during the day to take advantage of the sun to warm the room.
If you can make sure your house is insulated—most heat is lost through the roof so it is a really good idea to install batts in your ceiling if you don’t have them. If you do—another layer might make all the difference.
There are several easy items to help keep you warmer. Reverse your ceiling fans to run clockwise to push the heat that has risen to the ceiling back down to the floor. This is particularly useful for rooms with high ceilings. Close the fireplace damper whenever there is not a fire burning. Glass doors on fireplaces help prevent the warm air in the room from going up the chimney. If you have central heating move furniture away from the heating vents so the warm air is not trapped under or behind the furniture. Finally as your dad always told you, “If you are cold, put on a jersey”.