Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Frikkin' Freezing in Here...

Thankfully, its not really freezing inside our house...but its freezing OUTside in New England today (and yesterday!) Brrrrr....Its been around 20 degrees, but the windchill makes it feel like its around 12ish...! Our pellet stove has been humming like crazy, and thankfully it can keep up with the cold temperatures.
There are few extra things you can do to help stay warm in your home, that don't cost a lot of extra money. Here are some things we have done:

- This may sound obvious, but make sure all your windows and doors are closed and locked tightly. If you haven't used a window or door in a while, you may have forgotten to close it tightly.

- If you have any windows that are especially leaky or even broken, cover them with plastic window film. We have a small window that just suddenly broke at 3 am (!!!) for some inexplicable reason. Handy Man was going to replace the whole thing, since it is part of a large picture window. However, we kind of ran out of money, and it suddenly turned VERY cold, and we didn't feel like having a huge hole in the wall. 

You can get the plastic film at a hardware store, and it only takes a few minutes to put on. Aim some warm air from a hair dryer onto the plastic, and it will shrink tightly against the window. I never thought these worked all that well, but it seems to work well enough, I can hardly feel any cold through the plastic.

- Ceiling fans can help push warm air around; they can push warm air down from a high ceiling, or push warm air away from a heat source and into the rest of the house. We have a ceiling fan on in the room where our pellet stove is, to help push the warm air into other areas.

- We have new(ish), high-quality windows, but long, lined drapes can also help keep drafts from coming in.

- Depending on how your house is laid out, you may even be able to close off a unused room. We have a family room that would be nice to use, but we don't want to pay to heat it at the moment. The room has two openings to the rest of the house: a small window through to the kitchen, and a door to the kitchen. 

Handy Man made a window to put in the window opening, and put in a door with weather stripping around it to keep the drafts out. (I will make a post about how he did this another time.)

- Speaking of weather stripping, do you have good weather stripping around your exterior doors? It doesn't cost that much, and can make a HUGE difference in drafts coming in around your doors. Weather stripping can shrink and warp over time after putting up with extreme temperature differences; you may need to take some existing stripping down and put up new stripping.

- Draft blockers put at the bottom of your door can help with cold air coming in also, and aren't too expensive. My brother and sister-in-law have one like this for their exterior door for their house, and it works great! You can still open and close the door easily with it in place.

What sort of things do you do to stay warm, if you live in a cold climate?


Kristin said...

We actually found out that one of our windows was never closed completely -- what a draft! I also need some heavy curtains for the upstairs bedrooms -- esp. mine which is over the unheated garage! (I need a rug, too. Hardwood floor in there is not cutting it.

The Wood Pellets are Here! « Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

[...] can check out this link that I wrote last year for some ideas on how to conserve heat in the [...]

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