Winter Is Coming: Eight Budget-friendly Ways to Keep Your House Warm

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 probability of vehicular accidents outside, you can still face risks at home.

There is a standard for residential fires during winter caused by soot buildup in fireplaces, faulty chimneys, and portable heaters. Gas and electric furnaces are also dangerous, 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 cracksseeping through your house’s cracks. But all these could be avoided with proper preparation.

House Warm

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 make to keep your house warm during the coming winter.

Furnace Maintenance

A filthy furnace filter is one of the most common causes of cooling and heating problems. Not only does a dirty filter shorten your furnace’s lifespan, but it also increases your heating bills. Clogged filters affect proper airflow, making bringing warmth into your house harder. New furnace filters will cost you at least $40 a year. Compared to buying a whole new furnace system and the installation fee you’d probably pay, changing your filters is undoubtedly 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, getting your furnace tuned by professionals would be the most efficient way to go.

Attic Insulation

Introductory thermodynamics suggests that 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 of deep insulation covers on the attic floor and the ceiling below it. This way, the heated air can bounce right down to your living area.

Window Sealing

Another introductory thermodynamics lesson is that heated air always looks for a colder atmosphere to heat up. That means minor cracks on your walls and windows might lead the warmth out. Ensure 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 must fill, so get to them first.

DIY Door Sweeps

Getting door sweeps installed is relatively cheap. But no one will 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 while defending your house from the cold. Plus, it also keeps the bugs out.

Reverse Fans

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. When fans spin counterclockwise, they move air around the room, ventilating it. But switching its rotation clockwise and letting it run at a low speed will pull cool air upwards and gently push warm air in your direction.

Magic Carpet

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, hard feet are worse than lava. And as much as you want to solve this problem, installing thermal breakers on the feet 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, investing in carpets and rugs would be better. It is the cheapest way to solve this issue. With thick carpet and rugs, your floors will feel warm and lovely 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 on top of your floor can be a great way to minimize the cold. Plus, it will also be softer and safer for babies.

Warm Blankets

Lastly, invest in thick and warm blankets. Buy as many blankets as you can during summer, so there’s a chance that the price will 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 stay cozy and warm during the cuddle weather.

These were just some budget-friendly ways you can keep yourself warm. But whether you spend all your savings or not a single dime, winter is coming, so you better prepare. Following these tips might help you save quite a lot, but remember that your and your family’s safety and well-being are priceless.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.