We found an awesome article from Home & Gardening Ideas, that provides great reminders and some useful hints to maximizing the warmth within our homes this Winter. Check it out:
Winter is upon us here and most of us try to find ways to keep our houses warmer during the winter time, while also saving a few bucks at the same time. The projected budget for heating your home during this winter is almost $2,200 which is definitely not within everyone’s budget range.
Aside from saving money, it is quite difficult to keep your home cozy and warm, especially if your home was built along time ago and does not have good insulation. Therefore, this information below will help you save money and help to keep you warmer this winter.
1. Allow the sunlight in during the daytime: even if the day is colder, when the sun is up, allow the warmth of natural sunlight to come in your house. Before you leave the house, move the curtains of those rooms or parts of the house where the sunlight directly comes in.
2. At night, keep the curtains shut: once, the sun sets, keep all the curtains and drapes properly closed to prevent the escape of heat from the house. In fact, try to make use of insulating curtains during the winter season if you reside in relatively colder areas. You can even try placing the temporary curtains or anything which cause insulating effect such as rugs, sheets, etc. on the doors or windows to prevent heat loss.
3. Be cautious about the fireplaces that burn wood: this is one of the major sources of letting in the cold air while the fireplace is not in use. When you light the fire, it’s warm and cozy around the place where fire is being lit while in other places the cold air is pulled down. You can place the glass in front of your fireplace in order to prevent the escape of hot air when it is not in use. Also, always keep in mind to close the flue when you are not using the fireplace otherwise it will cause the cold air to let in.
4. Try out your ceiling fans: during the winters ceiling fans are considered useless. But some of the ceiling fans have “ winter setting” which has anti-clockwise functioning and proves especially helpful in winter by pushing the heat downwards in the room. If you have sloped or high ceilings, this will prove especially helpful if used at low speed. I have learned this from my personal experience and it really worked well.
5. Keep your furniture away from the vents: if you have placed your furniture in front of or near the vents, then double check it to remove it away especially in the winters. In this way, every corner of your house will get equal amount of heat. If you do not remove the furniture, it can even block the vents forcing the air to go back which can result in issues of air pressure, disrupting the heat flow.
6. Curtail the ‘Stack Effect’: this effect is especially evident in taller buildings. This effect is created by the movement of hot and cold air in and out of the houses and other tall buildings which results in the creation of large-scale Chimneys. The rising levels of warm air in your home will result in pulling the cold air inside from any kind of gaps which creates the negative pressure in the lower levels of the building acting like a suction cup. To prevent this effect, you need to seal the gaps. You can conduct a gap checking test by holding a lit candle in your hand and walking near your doors and windows. If the flame of the candle flickers, it means there is some potential opening or gap allowing the cold air in. By moving your hand near it you will feel the cold air so close it, instantly. Another test you can try is ‘door snake’. For alleviating the stack effect due to door gaps, you can try using weather stripping and door sweeps.
7. Look for and seal all other leaks: look for the other leaks beyond doors and windows such as the attic, basement and even the hood vents of the kitchen. It is also important to prevent those air leaks.
8. Install a programmed thermostat: this will aid in keeping your bills low while increasing your efficiency. This programmed thermostat keeps you away from the hassle of manually adjusting the thermostat while you leave the house or come back to your place. Following are some of the recommended thermostat temperatures which you can adjust while you leave the house for a day or for a few days of the week; From 6:00 AM till 9:00 AM: 68 Degrees – From 9:00 AM till 5:30 PM:60 Degrees. From 5:30 PM till 11:00 PM:68 Degrees. From 11:00 PM till 6:00 AM: 60 Degrees.The recommended temperature seems to be a bit chilly but its up to you to adjust it according to your level of comfort with the warmth. But you should keep in mind that various researches indicate that the bit cooler temperatures range is helpful in the promotion of better sleeping and might even help in the improvement of your metabolism rate.
9. Create cozy sauna in certain rooms: if you use certain room or area of your place more than the others, then you can keep the doors of that room closed all the time. This will keep it heated and warm even if the heat is on normal level. If your space such as living room is long and big you can try out room dividers which keep the divided place warm and cozy. The doors of the rooms which are not used frequently, can also be kept closed to trap the heat inside.
10. Make a cautious use of space heaters: using the space heaters in the room is another good solution, but they should be used with caution to prevent any fire-hazards. Keep the flammable items at least 3 feet away from the heaters and it is better to shut them off while you are asleep or leave the place. It is better to make use of automatic space heaters which can be turned off by tipping.
11. Make use of the oven: baking, cooking, and other kitchen activities will especially keep the rooms and places near your kitchen warm and comfortable. So enjoy doing lots of delicious cooking when the temperature lowers.
12. Layered wooden floors: if your wooden floors are not insulated with carpet and rugs during winters, it’s the time to do so. The research study by National Energy Foundations indicates that when the wooden floor remain uninsulated it contributes towards 10% of the total heat loss of the place. So add beautiful rugs and carpets to increase the coziness.
13. If you are having radiators: at your place, first place the tin foil at the back of the radiator for reflecting the heat flow back to your rooms. You can make use of exclusive radiator reflective foil, but can also make use of Kitchen variety. Table or shelf can also be placed over the radiator to trap heat and spread it evenly across the room.
Besides all these tips, the most important thing is to keep the yourself warm and cozy with lots of warm clothing , take hot tea, soups, or coffee throughout the day , warm up your beds with warm and cozy bed sheets, quilts and blankets. By following the above tips plus by keeping yourself warm you can handle the winter nicely.
More informational and useful tips and tricks like this can be found at Home and Gardening Ideas' website. They're a great place for resourceful tips on all your housing needs.