The following post is from Emily of Live Renewed:
Where I live in Northern Indiana, we just enjoyed a week-and-a-half of beautiful Indian Summer weather, but it’s now turned cold and rainy, and we are well aware that winter is right around the corner.
Preparing for the cold winter weather is a great way to green up your home and make it more energy efficient so that you can turn your thermostat down a few notches and save energy and money on your heating bills this winter.
Here are a few easy and affordable ideas to weatherproof your home for winter:
1. Make sure your storm windows are installed correctly
If you have older windows, be sure that your storm windows are in good repair and closed correctly all around your home. Storm windows help to provide an additional layer of protection against the cold winter air.
2. Add plastic coverings to the inside of your windows
On the inside of your windows, you can easily add plastic covering that further helps to insulate old, drafty windows. We put the plastic over our wooden blinds, and poke a little hole at the top to pull the cord through so that we can still open the blinds and let the sun shine in, which also helps to heat up the house.
3. Add shades or drapes
Heavier shades or drapes help to keep cold air and drafts out, not just from the window, but from around the window frame too. It’s important to close the drapes at night when the temperatures are colder, and then open them during the day to use the energy of the sun to warm up the house.
4. Use door draft stoppers
You can buy a door draft stopper (there are lots of cute ones on Etsy!), or if you’re crafty, make one yourself. Place them along your outside doors to help keep away the draft that seeps in underneath the door.
5. Fix leaks around doors and windows
Light a candle and move it around the door and window frames in your home. If it flickers, you know there is a draft coming in, so patch the leaky spots with caulk or weather stripping.
Around the House
6. Get a water heater insulating blanket.
Insulating your hot water heater saves energy by reducing heat lost through the sides of the water heater by 25-40%, which will help save you money on your energy bills.
7. Insulate your outlets
This one might seem a little silly, but many electrical outlets, especially in older homes, don’t have insulation around them. These could be a source of drafty cold air or a place that the warm air can leak out of your house since they are essentially just a hole in the wall. To insulate your outlets, purchase foam padding that easily fits around your electrical outlets or light switches. Remember to take care and follow directions when working around electricity!
8. Add attic or basement insulation (or both!)
This one will probably cost you the most amount of money, but it will also give you the largest return on your investment. Large amounts of heat can be lost through uninsulated, or under insulated, basements, crawl spaces or attics. Adding insulation to your attic may be a DIY job, even if you just roll out some extra insulation along the floor and walls of the attic.
The basement probably requires an experienced contractor because of the issues of moisture, which can lead to mold, and increased radon, which can lead to lung cancer. You can also seek out greener types of insulation made from recycled materials like denim, newspaper or wool that are formaldehyde-free.
Do you keep your thermostat low in the winter to save energy and money? How do you weatherproof around your home?
|Emily McClements strives to live with compassion and caring for creation in a way that will impact the world. She is a blessed wife and mama to three young children, and blogs about her family’s journey toward natural and simple living at Live Renewed.|