It won’t be long now until the Great Lakes turn to ice and the biting winter winds start whipping over Southeast Michigan. Yes, the coldest months of the year are right around the corner, and weather forecasters are predicting another extremely cold, extremely snowy polar vortex-fueled winter for Michigan. All of which means it’s time to start preparing to keep your home warm during freezing winter months. Here’s how.
Your home’s windows don’t just provide a view of the outside world; they can also provide a way for heat to escape the home, especially if there are cracks in their seals.
Walk around your house, checking around windows for cracks. If you find any, re-seal the windows with caulk. Even if you don’t find any cracks, you can still take action to help keep your home warmer during the cold winter months by covering the windows with plastic. All you’ll need is a window-insulator kit, a hairdryer and some free time.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sealing windows is one of the do-it-yourself tasks that can keep your home warmer while saving money on energy bills.
Insulation is an engineering marvel that’s often underused, especially in older homes. It’s relatively inexpensive, easy to obtain and easy to install. The key area of your home you need to consider insulating is the attic, which will keep your home warm during freezing winter weather.
There are basically two types of insulation for the attic: loose fill and batt. Both work well, but batt is better for standard joist spacings. For attics with irregular joist spaces and a lot of obstructions, consider using loose fill.
Insulating the attic will help reduce the amount of heat you lose through the roof. It can also go a long way toward reducing the risk of ice dams, which can damage shingles and lead to severe water damage.
After you’ve insulated the attic, take a look at other areas of your home that might benefit from a little extra insulation, including the garage and basement walls. These areas of homes aren’t often insulated, but if they were, they’d help keep your home a lot warmer during the freezing winter months.
Check the Heating System
It doesn’t matter what type of heating system you have—a furnace or a heat pump—you’re going to want to have it checked out before the mercury dips into the freezing range.
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of a cold night to discover that you can see your breath. That’s a sure sign that the furnace or heat pump went out. Making sure that your heating system is in proper running order before it gets cold outside can help ensure that you make it through the winter without having to call for service—and worry about your pipes freezing—when it’s an emergency.
It will also help ensure that you’re getting the most out of the heating system. Furnaces and heat pumps that are running well run more efficiently, which can save you money on heating bills.
Accessorize and Strategize
In addition to sealing windows, insulating and making sure everything is right with the heating system, you can keep your house warm during a freezing winter by accessorizing and strategizing.
- Open window shades during the day to let the sunlight in and close them in the evening to help keep the cold air out.
- Use the oven to cook at night, adding a touch of heat to your home.
- Use a programmable thermostat to pre-set the temperature of your home. Lower the heat during the day when you’re not there and have it warmed up again by the time you plan to get home.
- Put a thick rug on the floor. Rugs can look great, and they can help keep your feet warm.
- Move heavy furniture to the outside walls. Believe it or not, they act as insulation.
For more ideas about how to keep your home warm during freezing winter months, contact Kelley Brothers today.