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10 Ways to Keep the Cold Out This Winter

Saturday, December 13, 2014

 

Photo: Mosaik Design

There are many ways to stay warm and keep the cold out of your home besides cranking up the heat and keeping your beanie on. Here are 10 simple tips that can save energy and keep you warm this winter.

1.  Install window treatments that are constructed of a heavy weight fabric or add an additional layer to your existing curtains. You can remove the heavier layer in the spring.  Opt for another color or texture with the heavier curtain to enhance the feel of layers and give the space a new look.

2.  Remove plants, bushes or trees that block the sun from your home.  You will be amazed at how much warmer it will make your home feel. Have a cup of coffee or read in your favorite sunny spot for just 10 minutes a day, and get a dose of much needed Vitamin D during the long winter months.

3. Close doors and heat registers in the rooms you don’t use very often.  Not only will this conserve energy, it will make the rooms you are using heat up quicker and retain the heat longer.

4.  Install clear film on your windows or hang up an inexpensive clear shower curtain.  The sunlight can still stream in through the film and add warmth while preventing heat loss. You can keep the film on through the summer to prevent heat gain as well.

5.  Permanent fixes for maximum comfort include:  adding insulation to your attic to walls--depending on what currently exists, sealing all cracks in your walls, replacing your furnace with a quiet, high efficiency unit (these typically include tax rebates).  A local HVAC contactor should be able to provide a Home Performance Test on your home and suggest remedies that stop the drafts for good.

Photo: Lincoln Barbour

6.  Use your oven more because it will dry out the air, provide you with comfort food and a toasty kitchen.  Remember to crack the door when you are done cooking to let the heat out!

7.  Seal gaps around windows and doors by applying caulk and weather stripping to prevent heat loss. You can also place rolled towel at the foot of the door to keep the draft out.

8.  Add an electric blanket or heated mattress pad to your bed. You can turn your thermostat down at night, saving energy and heating costs, and still stay toasty warm. Make sure to turn it on prior to getting onto bed.  It is pure heaven to slip into a pre-heated bed—no cold sheets! 

9.  Add rugs to warm up tile or wood floors.  Light dark corners with candles or put up festive lights in your plants to add warmth and ambiance at the same time.

10.  Add a fireplace or improve your existing unit.  If you have a wood-burning fireplace, consider converting to a gas or ethanol unit. You will be surprised how much more convenient it is. With the flick of a switch you add instant warmth and coziness to your space with no mess.  If you want to add a fireplace with very little work or remodel costs, consider a freestanding Bioethanol unit. These units don't require a flue or any utility hook ups and run on a renewable energy source that provide heat.  They are also quite beautiful!

These are just a few tips to keep your home warm this winter. There are hundreds of ways to make a difference that don’t have to be costly or labor-intensive. Just remember, some of the simplest things can make a difference to keep yourself and your home warm and cozy this winter.

Erin Davis is owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland Oregon. For more information and tips mosaikdesign.com or contact her at [email protected]

@mosaik_design

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