Winter is a beautiful, almost magical time of year. However, as the seasons change and the temperature drops, it can be difficult to keep a house warm - that is, without cranking up the heat. The cold winter months often mean heavy energy use, which is a drain both on natural resources and on your bank account. But there are steps you can take to mitigate this and keep warm in winter without freezing your wallet.
Keeping your house toasty while conserving energy just takes a little extra preparation.
Mind the Gaps for Energy Efficiency
The first thing I do when the cold creeps in is search for any openings where chilly drafts might sneak in. Feel around your windows, electric outlets, and other openings along the interior walls of your house for small gaps that could let cold air in. Fixing these is usually an easy DIY job, patching these small holes or gaps with a little drywall compound. For drafts coming in underneath doors, a repurposed pool noodle and some old fabric should do the trick, and without ruining the pool noodle for next summer.
Use the Greenhouse Effect for Good
Another way to keep warm during the winter utilizes the best source of warmth available to all of us - the sun! You may already be familiar with the value of solar power on a home, but you don't need solar panels to save on energy costs. Keeping your shades – especially the ones that face the sun – open during the day allows sunlight to come through your windows and heat your house. With nowhere to go (remember you've already blocked all those pesky holes and gaps), the heat lingers well into the evening, keeping you and your family warm. This is called the greenhouse effect.
Other Tips for Staying Toasty
Looking for other ways to save energy while keeping yourself cozy this winter? Here are a few more home energy efficiency suggestions.
Deborah Lansing's real estate experience stretches from her current endeavors at Keller Williams to her past years spent with Coldwell Banker as a residential broker. These unique endeavors give her special insights to the ever changing real estate market. As a writer, her followers on Twitter @contentkarmapr look to her for her for important advice as a relocation professional when it comes to everything from first-time-homebuying to long-term financing.