With winter here, it might be time to winterize your home so that you can keep warm and cozy. Winterizing can be a great weekend remodel project or just a quick task list. Here are some ways to upgrade your home for the cold months of winter:
We have a number of older homes in Eugene. You don’t want to live in a house without insulation, if your temperatures hover anywhere near the freezing mark during winter. For many Americans living in older homes (particularly those built before World War II) they may constantly feel drafty and chilled due to lack of insulation.
Insulating the walls is the single best way to reduce heating costs this winter. If you have an older home this means retrofitting to add insulation without a costly major renovation. Liquid insulation can be added after the fact (either a stiffening version called polyicynene or a slower-pour foam which can be added through holes drilled into the walls. The foam takes longer to expand which minimizes the threat of cracking plaster).
Other forms of insulation include plastics, fiberglass, shredded paper, even fabric and wool scraps. Cost, efficiency of product and skill required will vary. You need to factor in site conditions and budget to your insulation renovation plans.
Be sure to seal up any cracks in your window frames, to prevent chilly winds from entering and allowing heat to escape. You can check your windows for leaks using a flashlight and two people (one outside the window looking for light to appear, and one inside pointing the light at the window). Use caulk to seal any cracks.
Open shades and curtains to warm your home during the day. Close them at night to protect against the chill. You can add blackout shades with a thermal lining to save energy.
Programmable thermostats will save you money by heating the house properly during designated times. Best of all, if you don’t have to remember to turn the heat up or down and it’s programmed for you, that’s also a time saver. The Nest thermostat is an excellent option and you can purchase it at many of our local hardware stores here in Eugene.
Another great tip is to switch the direction of your ceiling fan. This will push warm air down from the ceiling, keeping you warmer and helping you lower your thermostat and save money. In fact you might even reduce your utility bill by 10%.
Install draft stoppers on your doors. Want some in patterns that match your décor? Contact Tia’s Tailor for handmade stoppers by a local seamstress!
Add area rugs to prevent heat from escaping through the floor. Use warmer rugs, like wool to trap the heat and add comfort when walking with bare feet.
Outlet insulators can be obtained at your local hardware stores.
Wishing you a warm and wonderful winter! Please let Red Umbrella Services know if you need a consultation on winterizing your home.