6 Quick Tips for Keeping out the Cold
December 14, 2015
Quick Tips for Keeping out the Cold
Winter is here again… those four perpetually cold months that really feel like eight. In New England, freezing weather and storms are par for the course, and once the novelty of the snow wears off, we all have to settle in for the cold long haul.
While unfortunately there isn’t much we can do to stop the cold weather and storms, there’s a slew of things that can be done around the house to prepare for them, to ensure that the money you’re paying to heat your home doesn’t slip through the cracks.
Get Your Home Ready
Keep the Heat In
The fireplace is an extremely large source of heat loss in your home. While it can keep you warm if lit - and who doesn’t love hot chocolate by a cozy fire? - if you are not using it, an open fireplace will actually drain your living room of warmth. When the fireplace isn’t in use, make sure that the flue is shut completely so that you can’t feel a draft with your hand. To go one step further, consider investing in a “chimney balloon” which inflates to completely seal the fireplace.
The little things can certainly add up, and it’s no different when it comes to drafts in the house. Take stock of those smaller openings: letter slots on the front door, pet doors, and even keyholes can make a difference in the room temperature, and ultimately your bill, when the cold strikes. Make sure that these are sealed tightly when closed or covered.
Get back to basics and simply cover the spaces under doors with draft stoppers. These can be purchased at home improvement stores and come in all shapes, styles, and sizes, but they’re also simple to make. One way to do it is to cut the leg off a pair of leggings and stuff it with socks. It might seem obvious, but blocking up the bottoms of doors and entryways, even ones inside your house, can help you control the temperature from room to room.
A winter redecoration not only will spruce up a room, but also might open it up for maximum heat flow. If you have big items in front of your radiator, think about where else they might fit in the room. Chances are you’re losing a bit of warmth with that big armchair in the way. Conversely, putting a shelf above a radiator can direct the warmth out towards the center of the room. The same applies for vented heating systems – just imagine your heat as a visible current and try not to block the flow of it.
Not using that room? Then consider closing the door permanently for the winter. This will help keep both the cold air from that room from moving into the rest of the house, and all the warmth from seeping into unused spaces.
Cover up the floor! Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they aren’t conducive to wintertime. On top of freezing your feet in the morning, uncovered floorboards can amount to up to 10% of heat loss if they aren’t insulated. Simply putting down a rug on some of the larger areas of wood floors can help cover the cracks between the boards and serve as an effective insulator.
These ideas may not be reinventing the wheel, but they are simple to pull off, inexpensive, and most importantly effective. So while the cold might not being going anywhere anytime soon, there are small things you can do today to keep your home warmer. And if you’re looking to take a larger step, schedule your no-cost home energy assessment with Mass Save by calling 1-866-527-SAVE (7283).
Be sure to browse our other blog posts for more tips, tricks, and ideas for saving money on energy.