Posted on December 1, 2010 by
I am not a huge fan of cold weather, so if you see me anytime between the months of November and April, I’m likely to be wearing more than a few layers of clothing. Heck, I’m wearing three shirts right now, and I’m inside. If I spend long periods of time outside during the winter, I basically dress up like Kenny from South Park.
And I live in Georgia! Imagine what I’d look like if I lived somewhere with harsher winters. I’d be mummified in scarves and fleece and down jackets until I thawed out sometime mid-May.
But as much as I dislike being cold, I also don’t like to waste energy. I keep the thermostat in our home set in the low- to mid-60s and pile on the blankets to stay warm. If you want to keep the temperature cozy in your home without running the heat constantly, there are some things you can do to your home to keep the warm air in and the cold drafts out:
- Check around your doors and windows for air leaks. One good way to do this is to light a candle or a match and hold it right next to the frame (preferably without setting anything on fire — watch the curtains!) If the flame flickers a lot, you’ve got a leak.
- Check out the weatherstripping under any exterior doors. If it’s cracked or worn out, go buy new weatherstripping. This purchase is worth it.
- If you find any holes, fill them with some spray foam insulation (for big gaps) or caulk (for the smaller cracks). You can find these at any home improvement store.
- Wrap an old blanket around your water heater, or spring for an insulated blanket. This will help cut down on the energy used to heat water whenever you take a shower or run the dishwasher.
- You may also opt for a programmable thermostat. Set the temperature in your home to drop when you’re at work all day or when you’re sleeping, but let it get warmer when you’re awake and hanging out around the house.
- If you’re serious about making your home as efficient as possible, you may spring for a professional energy audit. They’re not cheap — probably between $400 and $600, depending on where you live — but pinpointing the areas in your home that are leaking air (and money) will immediately start saving you money on your heating and cooling bill.
Aside from your home improvement projects, keep yourself warm by piling on the sweaters and blankets, drinking hot tea and/or coffee, and snuggling up with a loved one or pet. You know, maybe winter’s not so bad after all.