It's cold in Columbus right now and a lot of other places across the US. I mean, really cold, like a 10° and in some places we're below zero. It may be hard to stay warm but there are different things you can do with your house to keep the warmth in an really weatherproof your house. Here are five tips to keeping in the warmth in your home this winter.
#1. Check for leaks.
The more heat escapes, the colder the house will get and the harder your energy source will work. Check all around your house, around windows, doors, and anywhere that cold air may be seeping in. You want to put caulking around the windows and even the door frames if you feel a draft or a breeze. Check for cold air coming in under your front door or through your sliding glass door. Check for cold air coming in or around a fireplace, down the chimney or through the louvers in a gas fireplace. If you find that there is cold air coming in through the louvers, you may want to check with a professional gas fireplace company in order to have them seal off any draft from the outside. Also check your attic, as in proper insulation can cause a lot of cold air from the top to seep down.
#2. Consider a different heat source.
It all depends on what you have now. If you have electric baseboard heaters, they can run very expensive and be high energy costs. Consider getting a portable heater and use it only in the rooms in which you occupied. Wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, gas fireplaces with fans or even an electric fireplace can add warmth to a particular room without heating up the whole house. But remember, not heating up the whole house means that when you do need to heat up the home, your energy source will even work harder, possibly costing you more.
#3. Make your home work smarter not harder.
Programmable thermostats and smart thermostats like the Nest can have you set the temperature when your home and when you are away. Many of these smart thermostats will know if someone is home and when there isn't someone home, so if you go away for the holiday and there is no activity in the house, the thermostat will automatically drop the heat down to your desired temperature. You can even program it to come on an hour or two before you get home so that the house is warm when you walk in.
While we may not want to turn on the stove or oven in the warm summer months, now is a great time to use your stove or oven to your advantage. Consider cooking things that will heat up the kitchen and general living space. Try to stay away from crockpots as they won't heat up the kitchen even though they will be less expensive to run with your energy. Choosing something that is in the oven for a couple of hours will actually warm up the entire kitchen area depending on how high your ceilings are.
#5. Layer, layer, layer.
If you're looking to save some money during the cold weather months, you'll need to pile on the layers. Consider having a throw blanket on the couch during the winter months so that you can keep the thermostat lower. Don't forget to wear socks or slippers around the house or simply wear your long johns and save yourself a few pennies.
However you decide to heat your home be safe, comfortable and choose something that is affordable for you. I hope you have a safe holiday season and if you're planning on buying or selling your home, I have some other tips and tricks that are perfect for these cold weather months.