How to Keep Your House Warm in These Cold Winter Months
Many homeowners associate winter with shoveling snow several times a day, dealing with broken tree branches after a severe storm, and other outdoor problems. However, what about the indoor problems associated with winter?
One major indoor problem that you may encounter is a drafty house: You and your family never seem to feel warm enough no matter how high you set your thermostat, yet your energy bills are steadily climbing throughout the winter months. Do not replace your HVAC system yet! Instead, try locating and eliminating drafts around your home using the following tips that we find useful.
- Windows are the most common source of drafts, particularly in older homes. Move your hand along the window frame to check for a cold breeze that could be coming through virtually invisible gaps. If found, consider applying weather strips to block the cold air or simply hang heavy drapes across your window. You might also consider replacing your existing windows entirely with ones that are energy efficient.
- As with windows, the same problem is common with doors. Where weather strips may not be sufficient, adding a door sweep and/or a storm door may be the answer. You can also solve minor door drafts by simply placing a rolled-up rug or blanket at the bottom of the door, while the solution to major drafts may involve installing a new, energy-efficient door.
- If you have a fireplace with an uncovered chimney and you feel particularly cold in the living room, rest assured that there is a correction! Consider investing in a chimney cover to block off the flow of cold air into your home. Remember to always remove the cover when your fireplace is in use.
- A poorly insulated attic and/or basement might be making the largest contribution to your heat loss problem. Consider inspecting the soffit of your roof, i.e., the covered area beneath the eaves, and the walls and flooring of your basement. In this case, the ideal solution is to have a professional take a look at the potential air leaks and make recommendations accordingly.
- Believe it or not, your electrical outlets and recessed lighting fixtures may be another source of drafts due to poor insulation, overall workmanship, etc. In many cases, you may be able to solve the problem by purchasing foam gaskets to block off the air leak.
Reduce Your Energy Costs
Weatherproofing your home by eliminating drafts is much simpler than it seems, yet it can make a substantial difference not only to your comfort levels throughout the winter months – which tend to be quite severe, even in Southern Ontario – but also to your energy costs. In fact, did you know that a well-insulated home can significantly increase your property’s value?
If, after reading this, you are having any doubts about your own ability to eliminate drafts, our team of experts from Norseman Construction & Development are only one call away. Servicing the entire Greater Toronto Area, we look forward to helping all local homeowners keep their houses warm this winter!