The temperature on your thermostat is cranked higher than you would like but you are carrying a blanket around and can still feel the chill of winter from your living room couch; does this sound relatable? If so, you probably have a draft or slight opening in the structural makeup which allows wind and cold air to seep into your house during the colder months. Do not fret, there are simple inspections and adjustments you can consider. Here are several easy and cheap ways to return the warmth to your home.
Replace Weather Stripping
One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent a draft is to replace the soft rubber like material that lines the windows and doors of your house to seal it from the outside when closed. According to door expert Tal Hassid of ETO Doors, this is the most common issue to check and the easiest and cheapest to rectify. As these strips become older and more worn down from use, they may develop holes or even just flatten out, creating a little sliver of space which air can travel though. While this may seem small, it can have a big impact on your electric bill, especially if you live somewhere in the north. Take 5 minutes at least 2x a year to visually inspect the weather stripping on every exterior door. Once you’re keyed in to this, you will probably notice issues as you enter and exit throughout the year. Replacing it is very inexpensive and a DIY job.
Seal Windows that are Never Opened
While it is nice to crack a window on a clear summer day, there are certainly windows that you never open. Instead of leaving them available for opening, which implies that they are unsealed and therefore able to let in a draft, permanently close them by sealing them shut. This can be achieved with caulking material found at your local hardware shop. If you are not keen on a permanent solution, Do-It-Yourself gurus have suggested an annual resolution by the use of cling wrap, like what you would use to cover a dish of leftover casserole, to completely cover all corners of the window.
Cover the Floor with Rugs or Carpeting
Carpet is like fashionable insulation warming your toes as you walk from room to room. Coming in a wide variety of different colors and textures, there is a carpet out there that is perfect for you. If you are serious about being cozy, consider having carpet installed. If installation sounds like too big of a commitment, you are renting, or you simply do not want to cover those gorgeous hardwood floors, a nice area rug will have relatively the same effect on increasing the overall temperature of your home and keeping you warm. You can find even more variety in the rug business with modern shapes, patterns, textiles, and size. Find a rug that perfectly matches your winter décor and then store it until the time comes again. If you love it, leave it all year; the possibilities are endless.
Door Draft Defenders
Even though the weather stripping on your door may be pristine, the door is still the entry way to the house. The constant opening and closing of the door are bound to let in cold air, but the culprit of long-lasting drafts is where the door meets the floor. A noninvasive approach to combat this issue is to place a draft defender at the base of your door frame. This protective device can be as simple as a rolled-up towel or blanket, but more serious insulating draft defenders can be normally be purchased at the general store. The purpose of this insulation is to provide a barrier between the door and the outside when it is closed, so as soon as you shut the door make sure your draft defender is snug against the break between the door frame and the floor.
Consider having an Energy Evaluation
If you have tried all these things and your electric bill is still sky rocketed, it may be smart to have a professional come out and survey your home. If you want to know exactly where your hard-earned warmth of feeling is escaping to this would be very helpful. In an energy use evaluation, your home is assessed from chimney to baseboards to see where the energy is being drained. This will give you peace of mind and a starting point to address the heat loss problem head on without any guessing games.