A cold home is unpleasant, and with winter here to stay, the experts have a few helpful tips to keep warm this season!
It's that time again: cold weather is here to stay, holiday lights gleam and the end of the year is swiftly approaching. As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer it's time to bundle up against the chill and try to keep warm until the season turns.
Sometimes though, our homes are colder than we'd like and this can cause a variety of issues, ranging from inconvenient to dangerous to our health. It's never good to be uncomfortable in your own home, so in this blog we'll break down some ways to keep the home, and you, warm this winter season.
Easy Ways to Turn Up the Heat
A cold house is uncomfortable at best, and uninhabitable at worst. As humans, we require a certain temperature to keep our bodies functioning normally. Sometimes, however, in homes with a lack of proper insulation and air sealing, leaky windows, or inadequate heating systems, the temperature can dip below the generally recommended temperature of around 65 degrees.
There are two ways to go about fixing a problem like this, and the best solution is to reach out to a contractor for an energy audit.
An energy audit is a procedure that pinpoints areas of improper insulation, air loss and outdated windows and doors. Using this technique, an energy audit contractor will be able to treat the areas that are losing the most heat first.
When the heating system alone isn't enough, here are some helpful tips to keep the house warmer while waiting for a professional:
- Natural light: During the day the sun shines down, powering life on planet earth. All that light is good for more than just plant food though, it can also help keep your home warm. If you've ever stood under a skylight in the middle of the day, or seen an animal curled up in a sun patch, you know what we mean.
- Adding rugs and carpet: Cold floors are incredibly unpleasant, and can quickly drain body heat, as much of our body heat is expelled through the tops of our heads, and the bottoms of our feet. Layering up on area rugs and carpet can act as a sort of insulation and keep the floors from being too chilly.
- Move furniture away from vents: If your furniture is pressed up against the walls, it's best to move pieces away from heating vents, to allow proper air flow and circulation through living spaces.
- Space heaters: Using space heaters can be a great temporary solution to cold rooms. Electric, kerosene and propane heaters are on the market at a range of prices, and serve as an excellent quick fix.
- Keep doors shut: Shutting the doors around the house acts as a kind of heat retention system, allowing warm air to stay within the rooms that are occupied and can help in minimizing the amount of air escaping into cooler areas of the house.
- Light a fire, or some candles: As always, use caution and be attentive to any open flames in the home, but starting a fire, or even just lighting a few candles can generate a surprising amount of heat.
These solutions are only meant to help out for a short while, but they can be surprisingly effective, providing a comfortable way to wait out the time until you can have a professional come and assess the home.
What an Energy Audit Contractor Can Do for You and Your Home
Sometimes, our homes require a bit more help than we can manage on our own. When heating systems, insulation and windows and doors are failing, it's time to reach out to a professional. There are a number of ways that an energy audit contractor can improve the indoor comfort of the home, but the most prevalent are:
- Insulation--There should be insulation in nearly every part of the home, including but not limited to: attics, basements, crawl spaces, exterior and interior walls. There are a variety of insulation materials ranging from fiberglass to cellulose to spray foam.
- Air Sealing--A technique that uses an expanding foam insulation material to fill the tiny gaps and cracks around the home. These gaps are usually left behind by normal construction, and can be found around plumbing, electrical and masonry penetrations. This technique can also be used to fill around ducting equipment and nail holes through roof decking.
- HVAC Maintenance--All systems age and become less efficient over time, but they don't always need to be replaced outright. Maintenance plans are an easy way to keep your heating system running well, and help the machinery live out it's projected lifespan, if not longer.
- Duct Insulation--Ducts are what carries the heated air from your heating system through the rest of the house and into living spaces. Just as with the construction of a house, the construction of the ductwork leaves behind small gaps and cracks around the joints that keep them connected together. Due to this, it's advisable to seal and insulate the ducts to ensure that the air you pay for isn't leaking out before it reaches you, or becomes chilled before it can reach the vents.
- Replacement Windows and Doors--If you've experienced chills and drafts around your windows or doors, it may be time to replace them for a more energy efficient alternative. Over time, the seals around windows and doors can become ineffective, allowing warm air out, and cold air in. Newer options for entry doors often come with insulated cores, and newer windows often have energy efficient glass to help retain heat in the winter.
Finding an Energy Audit Contractor
As winter resumes, the temperature will continue to drop. If your home is chilly and uncomfortable, now is the time to reach out to a professional and get started making your home a warm and inviting place to be for the winter holidays.
Here at HomePro Match, we make it our priority to make homes comfortable, safe and healthy for our valued customers, which is why we've gathered together the best local energy audit contractors, all in one easy to navigate website. If your home is chilly, breezy and uncomfortable, reach out for an energy audit today!