Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth.
“Put a sweater on!”…Was that ever your parents response when you told them you were cold? It's only now, as a seasoned homeowner, that I realize they kept the thermostat low so their monthly electric bill would not shock them when it arrived. Keeping those cold drafts from creeping into your home is a challenge this time of year. Let's explore some ways to keep the warmth in, so you don't have to wear 5 sweaters at one time!
About 25% of your heat escapes your home via the roof, so examining your attic or any crawl space is important. If you've had any water leaks or work done to your roof this past year, you should also check to make sure mold is not present in the insulation as well. As time progresses, insulation does settle and becomes less effective, even the foam type can condense as the years go by. A good rule of thumb is to have between 10 and 16 inches of insulation in these spaces. If your assessment comes up short, the do-it-yourself-er can head to the home store and purchase the additional material needed. If you don't feel confident walking around the rafters, see if a friend can recommend a company to assist you.
Let's move on minimizing the drafts you may be feeling around your windows. Use curtains to your advantage and make sure you are letting the warmth of the sun in during the day and closing them up at night. Consider swapping out a lighter fabric for something a bit more substantial like wool or a curtain that contains a liner. Insulation kits are great for keeping those icy chills out of your home. They are easy to install and easy on the wallet. Any visible gaps between the window and frame could benefit from some caulking.
Doors can be a bit tricky since they are constantly being used, but the use of a curtain or an insulation kit that covers any panes can be beneficial. A fresh layer of weather stripping and replacing a worn sweep at the base can also keep drafts at bay. The use of a door-snake could be used on the basement door or perhaps to the door of an unused room. Don't forget to examine the door leading to a garage or porch area.
It is a bit chilly to address areas outside the home, but you can start a Spring to-do list and consider planting a tree or some shrubs near windows to cut down the wind and note any gaps or areas that may have developed & fill them with caulking.
Ultimately you want your home to retain heat in the winter and remain cool in the summer. Replacement of older windows or doors is the best way to address all these issues so your home stays toasty warm & stays energy efficient no matter what the weather!