Retaining Winter Heat in Your Home

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It sure is cold out there, especially with winter storm Hercules making his way around the country. If you have not already taken winter weather precautions to keep your home warm both effectively and efficiently, it is time to consider doing so. Home heating can get expensive and there is no sense in throwing good heat away by letting cold air seep into your home. By making a few slight improvements, you can save money and optimize your heating system at the same time.

First of all, seal off drafts. To solve the problem of seepage under doors, you can opt to strategically place a rug or even roll up a towel and place it against the bottom of the door. In terms of window seepage, plastic sheeting in the form of a convenient window kit can be used to create a leak-proof barrier that will keep cold air at bay. Another tool that will help tremendously is weather stripping. This can be used around windows and doors to seal gaps and keep the cold out. Your home may already be equipped with weather stripping that has weakened and grown faulty over the years. If this is the case, there is no time like the present to replace it.

If there are cracks in your walls or ceilings, those need attention, too, both on the inside of your home and the outside. To make them go away and alleviate the leakage associated with them, there are a couple of options depending on the size of the cracks. One of those is caulk, which is beneficial for narrower cracks. Pick up a tube of acrylic latex caulk and seal cracks quickly and easily. Caulk is very versatile and can even be used on cracked windows if needed in addition to brick, metal, wood, concrete, drywall, and plaster. For larger cracks (1/2 inch or wider), spray foam may work better as it expands as it dries. The only problem with spray foam is that it can be a tad unsightly, but if you are cold and need a quick fix, by all means go for it. Try not to get it on your hands or clothes though as it is sticky and will hang around on skin and clothing for quite a while. If you do get it on your hands, try wiping it off before you wash as water makes it extremely sticky.

Don't forget to close flues on wood stoves and chimneys when not in use as that will eliminate yet another cold air entrance. Hanging heavy draperies over your windows will also help insulate rooms by creating a barrier between cold glass and the rest of the room; this will trap and contain much of the cold that enters via windows. Placing rugs on bare floors will also help them retain the heat that is in your home. Practice these simple measures and you will not only stay warmer but will also see a change in the amount due on your electric bill. Winter storm Hercules may be out there, but you do not have to let him come inside.

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