1 – Use vent covers – Check your vents, fans, and in-wall A/C areas for a cold backdraft. The best way to prevent this is to have those areas covered with a draft shield. Same thing goes for chimneys that are not in use. (Always be sure any auto timers are off so you don’t damage your system.) *Note: Do not cover vents that also distribute heat*
2 – Seal everything – Be sure all the small areas are covered or sealed. These include the small gap under the doors leading outside and the window seals. Through the seasons window and door seals can dry out and crack, check to make sure they are still functioning correctly. If not, new seals are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Other options include window shrink wrap, again, easy to install without causing any damage. If you can’t get to the store right away you can always cover the cracks with a piece of cloth or tape.
3 – Insulation is your friend – If your existing walls and floors don’t have great insulation don’t fret. Laying rugs down will keep the floors warmer to the touch and help keep the heat in longer. Also, keep your curtains open during the day for some free sunlight, then close them at night to help insulate the windows. You can even wrap the pipes leading to and from your house to keep them from freezing. (Speaking of pipes, see #7!)
4 – Dress for the occasion – If you’re walking around barefoot and in shorts, this one’s for you! Winter is the perfect time for bunny slippers and fuzzy socks. This tip may seem obvious, but sometimes we overlook the simplest of solutions. Dress in layers and break out the extra blankets for those really cold winter nights.
5 – Do a little redecorating – Aiming for functionality over fengshui can make your home feel a lot warmer. Move your furniture away from baseboards or radiators to let the heat flow out freely. Keep your fans on a low setting and switch the rotation so the blades run in a clockwise direction. This will pull the cold air up and push the warm air down – just don’t forget to flip the switch back when the seasons change!
6 – Get cookin’! – Winter season is soup season! Start with some homemade soup or baked goods; when you’re done leave the oven cracked to let some of that heat escape into the house. Not hungry? Try some tea or hot cocoa, tasty and they double as hand warmers! All of these activities pair well with company, the more the merrier (and the warmer)!
7 – Protect your pipes – Letting your faucets drip overnight will keep the water flowing and help prevent your pipes from freezing. You can also open up your cabinets to let some heat reach the pipes on exterior walls. If your pipes do end up freezing it’s best to leave the thawing to a professional, give your plumber a call.
8 – Know your home – Take the time to learn where all of your emergency shut off switches and valves are. In the case of an emergency, such as a pipe bursting or a leaking boiler, you’ll know exactly where to go. This takes the panic out of an emergency and keeps you in control.
Bonus: With your Slomin’s home automation app, you can raise the temperature before you get home. This way your bill stays low and you stay comfortable.