For many Americans, the winter winds are about to start whipping—making it much harder to keep our homes cozy and warm. Instead of layering up in your parka and hat while indoors, heed these simple insulating tips that can turn your drafty space into a haven from the chilly season ahead.
Conserve the heat you have. If you’ve ever spent hours trying to heat up a specific room in your home only to leave the door open and let the cool air rush in again, you aren’t alone. Pay particular attention to the rooms you spend the most time in and focus on making those rooms as comfortable as you can. Have a central HVAC system? Close vents in rooms you don’t frequent so your system can work harder to warm the rooms you use, and don’t forget to keep those doors closed!
Make it brighter. It might seem like a room darkening shade and closing the blinds are your best bet for keeping warmth inside, but letting in natural light is a great way to have the sun do the hard work for you (and your heating system). Don’t waste time and money running your electric bill into the ground—instead, make the most of the sun’s warmth and let the light in.
Buy (or DIY) a draft-stopper. If you’re looking for a cheap and effective solution to put an end to pesky drafts, a draft-stopper is the way to go. These logs of fabric help keep heat in a room by eliminating the open space under a door, and are super simple to make yourself or buy at just about any hardware or home improvement store. Place one at front and back entrances that might experience the coolest air, or at the door in rooms you frequent.
Tip: Make your own draft stopper simply by sewing a piece of fabric into a long log (as long as your door, leaving one end open for stuffing. Fill with sand or unscented cat litter, and sew the open end closed.
Winterize the windows. One of the biggest contributors to a chilly house are drafty windows. If you live in an older space with windows that have not recently been replaced, consider purchasing plastic window wrap that can be blow dried to act as a vacuum seal around gaps in the panes. Similar to a lid on a pot of soup, the plastic works to trap heat from escaping and working its way in.