Winter is coming, and unlike Jon Snow, you can’t settle with not knowing anything. Winter storms can be dangerous. And even if you avoid the high probabilities of vehicular accidents outside, you can still face risks at home.
During winter, residential fires caused by soot buildup in fireplaces, faulty chimneys, and portable heaters are common. Gas and electric furnaces also pose a danger by causing higher chances of carbon monoxide buildup in your home. Senior citizens can experience heart complications due to overexertion, and babies are weak against the cold that comes seeping through the cracks of your house. But all these could be avoided with proper preparation.
While the weather isn’t something you can order around, keeping your home warm is within your control. And to help you prepare, here are eight budget-friendly home adjustments you can do to keep your house warm during the coming winter.
One of the most common causes of both cooling and heating problems is a filthy furnace filter. Not only does a dirty filter shorten your furnace’s lifespan, but it also increases your heating bills. Clogged filters affect proper airflow, making it harder to bring warmth into your house. New furnace filters will cost you at least $40 a year. Compare that to buying a whole new furnace system and the installation fee you’d probably pay, changing your filters is certainly the best option. You can also get washable filters under $20 each as an investment to avoid future hassles and unnecessary expenses.
But if it’s too late and you’re just checking now after a whole year, then getting your furnace tuned up by professionals would be the most efficient way to go.
Basic thermodynamics suggests that the heat will always rise. That means the warmth you are hoping to enjoy would most likely move to the attic like an estranged adolescent son. To avoid this situation, insulate your attic with at least five inches deep of insulation covers on both the attic floor and the ceiling below it. This way, you can make the heated air flowing up bounce right down to your living area.
Another basic thermodynamics lesson is that heated air will always look for a colder atmosphere to heat up. That means little cracks on your walls and windows might lead the warmth out. Make sure they don’t by sealing up said cracks, especially on your windows. Avoid drafts by plugging household leaks. Windows, chimneys, vents, and doorframes are the most common places you have to plug, so get to them first.
DIY Door Sweeps
Getting door sweeps installed is fairly cheap. But no one’s going to blame you for spending your door sweep budget on that programmable thermostat. Luckily, you can create your own with things you can get from your garage. With just planks of wood, Styrofoam, and cloth, you can keep the heat in while defending your house from the cold. Plus, it also keeps the bugs out.
It sounds like a superhero name. And much like a superhero, it does incredible feats. By reserving the spin of your ceiling fan, you can change its use from taking the heat out to throwing it back. You see, when fans spin counterclockwise, they move air around the room, ventilating it. But by switching its rotation clockwise and letting it run at a low speed, it will pull cool air upwards and gently push warm air in your direction.
The part of your house that gets cold the fastest is your floor. Drafts and air leaks are unnoticeable in other seasons. But during winter, cold floors are worse than lava. And as much as you want to solve this problem, installing thermal breakers on the floors can cost quite a lot, and using makeshift electric floor heaters can be dangerous for your family. Before you get to your last pair of socks, it would be better to invest in carpets and rugs instead. It is the cheapest way to solve this issue. With thick carpet and rugs, your floors will not only feel warm but also nice to touch.
DIY Insulated Floors
For areas that aren’t ideal for placing rugs on such as your kitchen and bathroom, there are alternative methods of floor insulation that you can look up. Corkboards and rubber mats placed on top of your floor can be a great way to minimize the cold. Plus, it will also be softer and safer for babies.
Lastly, invest in thick and warm blankets. Buy as many blankets as you can during summer, so there’s a chance that the price would drop. Don’t confuse this with insulated thermal blankets. Those are good for the cold, too, but they might not be comfortable to use at home. Buy thick fleece blankets and winter duvets to make sure you can stay cozy and warm during the cuddle weather.
These were just some budget-friendly ways you can keep yourself warm. Following these tips might help you save quite a lot but keep in mind that you and your family’s safety and well-being are priceless. But whether you spend all your savings or not a single dime at all, winter is coming, so you better prepare.