As a child, leaving a door or window open too long in the winter time would undoubtedly evoke a harsh reaction from your parents, usually in the form of the well-known phrase, “you’re letting the cold air in!” While your parents were right in that leaving a door or window open would make the house colder, the saying is not technically true. Rather than letting cold air into your home, you are letting warmed air out, and it doesn’t even take an open door or window to do.
It’s impossible to seal your home up tight and prevent all heat loss during the winter months, but you can keep your house heated, and save a lot of money on energy bills, by preventing heat from escaping from these places.
That’s right; it doesn’t take an open window for heat loss to occur in your home. Completely closed windows can still allow warm air to leak outside. The most common culprit for this is worn/old windows that are no longer sealed properly. Over time, the frame and seals on your windows will degrade, causing air to leak from your home. While temporary fixes can be applied in the form of window sealer, tape, and other products, the best way to fix the problem for good is to invest in new windows. Window replacement will not only ensure your windows are airtight, upgrading your windows (which are likely decades old) will allow you to install newer, more energy efficient models.
Heat rises, and no matter how much heated air your furnace pumps into your home, it will inevitably escape through your attic space (provided you have one). There are three things that you can do in order to prevent and reduce the amount of heated air that escapes through your attic space:
- Proper insulation: make sure your attic has new insulation properly installed before the temperature drops.
- Insulate attic entrances: many people forget to insulate attic hatches and pull down stairs.
- Limit bathroom fan use: don’t leave bathroom fans running longer than they need to as they will pull heated air out of your home.
Just like windows, the seals on your exterior doors can degrade over time and release air from your home. It may be time to upgrade to a new door, but you can also consider installing a storm door as well for added insulation. Also, don’t forget about your garage door! Garage spaces can suck the heat out of your home, and low-quality garage doors make for very poor insulators. If you frequently go in and out of your garage during the winter, it may be best to invest in a better overhead door.
Keep Your House Warm All Throughout the Winter with These Quick Tips!
- Don’t close vents to unused rooms: doing so will cause your furnace to work less efficiently.
- Beware of fireplaces: they may seem like a great source of heat, but open dampers will drain just as much heat as the fire provides.
- Furnace maintenance: make sure to have your furnace checked and change those air filters.
- Don’t lower thermostats (too much): cranking them down when you’re not home means the furnace needs to work even harder to raise the temperature when you return.