Brrrr. Jack Frost is biting already, but it’s not too late to make sure your home is prepared. Before you jump under a cozy blanket with a cup of something hot and hibernate for the next few months, make sure you’re doing as much as you can to keep the warm air in and drafty breezes out. Here are a few weatherproofing tips to keep your toes warm and your energy bill low this winter season.
1. Secure Those Windows
Preventing heat from escaping at the windows can seriously make a difference in your home’s ability to maintain temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy says,
“About 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through the windows,”
so this is the first place on our list to check when considering weatherproofing. Preventing this loss is especially key for older windows that might be more prone to drafts. One option is to install storm windows to provide an extra layer of protection and insulation from the cold. If drafts are smaller and more manageable to identify, simply sealing will do. To tell if you have a spot that needs securing, put your hand to the window’s edges and if you feel cold air, it’s a place you could insulate better. Another tip, hold a candle or lighter and move around areas of the window, drafty spots will make the flame flicker, and you’ll have identified a place that needs some winter weatherproofing attention. To seal off drafty areas one can caulk around edges or insert foam weather strips in gaps.
Looking for new windows all together? Check out this recent article on how to choose energy-efficient windows for your home.
2. Use Window Treatments to Your Advantage
Proper window treatments are another great option for insulating windows, preventing warm air from escaping and cold air from entering. Cellular shades or honey-comb shades as they are often called due to their unique shape are perfect insulators for windows, both in winter and summer. Just like storm windows provide a pocket of air that acts as an additional insulation layer, the neat pockets in these shades do the same. How? The stagnant air held in each pocket prevents warm air from flowing through the material.
Installing cellular shades may help you lower your energy bill, retain heat, and contribute to reducing energy use, making the world a little cleaner. Parasol Cellular Shades are a great option and also come in Certified Best for Kids solutions, so your family will be warm and safe.
Another way to add an extra layer of insulation with window treatments is to use draperies. Purchasing draperies with a thick lining can contribute to maintaining warmth and preventing heat loss. Just make sure you have the proper drapery hardware to stand up to the job of carrying heavier draperies.
3. Cozy Up Your Water Heater
Believe it or not, your warm water heater could use a blanket. Insulating a water heater that is warm to the touch can help prevent heat loss by 24-40% says the U.S. Department of Energy. Many modern water heaters are already insulated, but older ones could benefit from extra insulation. If your water heater is emitting heat, insulator kits or blankets are available at most big box and hardware stores, come in inexpensive options and can help lower your water heating costs by 7-16% annually. What will be a short afternoon project will pay for itself in a year!
4. Sleep Cool
The ideal temperature for humans to sleep in is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw an extra blanket on the bed if you need it, lower the heat each night and easily save in the cold season. If the walk from the bed to the thermostat in the morning is too cold for you to handle, consider a smart home integrated programmable thermostat. You can set the temperatures you want at varying times of the day so you won’t be shivering on the walk to turn up the heat in the morning. Low temperatures at night will help promote a good night’s sleep, save money and prevent unnecessary energy loss.
3. Check Those Sneaky Spots
Have a wood-burning fireplace? Ensure the flue (the thing that lets air escape in the chimney) is shut when not in use or risk losing heat. Of course, when your fire is blazing, make sure your flue is opened properly.
Large gaps under exterior facing doors where drafts are getting in? Purchase a cute or stylish door draft stopper or even make your own. With some fabric, beans or rice for stuffing and a little craftiness, you can make yourself a door stopper and keep pesky drafts out. These can even work into your holiday decorating style.
If you aren’t convinced already:
Here are some savings stats from The Indy Star‘s recent article on the subject:
We hope we’ve helped you consider a few winter weatherproofing tips to help keep your home an even cozier place this holiday season. Have your own weatherproofing tricks for winter? We love to hear from you! Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments or inquiries.
Find your local Lafayette Dealer to purchase custom-crafted window treatment solutions, perfect for your home and style. Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned, to-the-trade window treatment and interior fashions company.