By Chester Danklin
Even if you love playing winter sports, there comes a point where you just want to be nice and warm indoors. If your home isn’t providing the type of sanctuary it should be, the following winter home tips are definitely worth considering.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If your home has an existing HVAC system, we don’t suggest you get rid of it. That HVAC system is more than just a creature comfort when winter comes roaring in. Sometimes, it’s essential to your very survival.
However, you could get a lot more from all that heat you’re probably paying a tidy sum for if you used a programmable thermostat.
Simply put, these thermostats can follow a specific schedule for when to turn on and turn off. They can also reach or drop to certain predetermined temperatures too.
Imagine leaving work knowing that, when you arrived home, it would be at the perfect temperature for you. Likewise, you could schedule it so that your home stays warm right up until you leave and then drops to a level that would be uncomfortable—though very cheap—if you were there.
These are the types of things you can do with a programmable thermostat. Many of them can even be controlled through an app on your smartphone too. If you’re going to be working late, ensure you’re not paying for heat you’ll never actually use.
Consider Zone Heating
This next idea would cost you a lot more to apply, but could also end up creating a warmer and more affordable home. Right now, your home is probably wasting a lot of heat. We’re not saying that there are drafts or anything, just that you and your family probably occupy one or two rooms at a time for most of the day. Yet your heating system is warming every single room in the house.
You can probably already tell where this is going. Basically, that “heat” isn’t getting used.
What’s worse, though, is that there are probably areas of your home the heat doesn’t reach. It usually has to do with where the vents are located, but there’s really only so much you can do with traditional systems. The result is that there are these inexplicably cool parts of your home despite the fact that you’ve spent good money on heat.
With zone heating, you basically divide up your home into separate zones. Usually, this means different rooms, but some may be large enough that they have multiple zones in them.
Whatever the case, you only warm the zones you want. If you’re the only one in the home and you’re just watching TV, only pay to have that room warmed. Don’t waste it on your bedroom, the guestroom, office, etc. This system works the same way in the summer too, so you can use it to direct cold air to where it’s needed and save money at the same time.
Start Pumping in Heat Through the Floors
Another option you could consider to warm your home is heated floors. Radiant floor heating has become more and more popular, but other options are available too. Depending on the type you choose—and the number of floors you want done—it can actually be very affordable to have heated floors installed. You can do heated tiles or even have your carpeted floors outfitted.
For those who haven’t heard of this before, you can now pump heat into your home through your floors. You don’t know comfort during the winter months until you’ve felt it with each step throughout your home. It’s incredible.
If nothing else, get the tiles in your bathroom done. You’ll never be cold when stepping out of the shower again. Add a heated towel rack and you may never leave that bathroom in the morning.
Obviously, you can have the rest of your home done too, but it’s important to be practical. You probably don’t need your stairs done, for example. Heating your home this way is also really smart because, as you probably know, heat rises. Therefore, you aren’t wasting any heat, nor are you getting the sometimes sporadic delivery that comes from using a vent.
Install More Windows
If you’re looking to renovate your home, make additional windows a priority and you’ll be glad you did come winter. The more natural light you can bring into your home, the warmer you’ll be and it won’t cost you a cent.
Just be sure you think ahead and make sure your windows will be facing the sun or you’ll get a nice view, at best, and nothing else. Sunroofs are great for this too, of course.
Keep your windows open during the day and the sun will do a great job of warming the air in your home for free.
Add Weatherstrips to Eliminate Drafts
Finally, nothing is more annoying than finding a draft in your home. Unfortunately, most are so slight, you can’t really feel them. For example, there could be a miniscule amount of space open when your window is supposed to be shut. You wouldn’t necessarily feel cold air coming from it, but the inside of your home is definitely colder because of it.
Use weatherstripping on your windows just in case. This will close up even the smallest of gaps that could be unknowingly costing you.
When the days start getting shorter, you know it’s only a matter of time before they start getting colder too. Meet the challenge head on this year by using at least one of the above tips to create a warmer home for yourself.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com