Winter’s coming and you’re already stocking up on warm blankets, thick sweaters and scarves to keep you snug and toasty while snow is on the ground. Before you start relaxing, stop: have you draft-proofed your house yet? Homes are very prone to getting chilly drafts during the snowy weather. In some cold places, even if there isn’t any ice on the ground, drafts are also experienced around the house.
You don’t have to suffer from cold house drafts all season long. There are some easy tips that will help you prepare and get rid of those nasty cold spots. Here are some tips you should remember.
Make An Inventory
Haven’t you noticed that the older the house, the more cold drafts experienced? Old houses often have areas that are damaged or worn out, and easily let the cold air in. To prevent this, you need to make sure your home is in tip-top condition. Go around your home, and inspect various areas where outside air can enter. List down the places that need attention. When you start the chore, you’ll have an easier time.
Clean The Furnace Or Heating Stove
The heating stove or furnace is your primary source of warmth. If it’s not clean and well-maintained, the it won’t work as efficiently as you expect it to. Check your furnace or stove and clean it properly. This can be accomplished with the help of air in a can and a sweeper. You should also check the instructions on the manual, to see if there are any specific cleaning methods to be used. When the unit is cleaned, you’ll be less prone to fire accidents and get more warmth.
Some furnaces or stoves are too old or creaky already, which is why they don’t work as well. If this is the dilemma, get a new one. Ask a professional to do the installation for you.
Check The Baseboards And Outlets
You don’t know it, but your outlets and baseboards can let cold air come into your home. Feel them: is there draft coming from the edge of the outlets? If there is, then you can use some caulking to block it. If you feel the air coming from the outlet itself, then get a child safety plug and use it instead. Do the same for the baseboards. If there’s air coming from the top, use a thin strip of caulking. Go up the baseboard on the wall’s edge. This will solve that cold air dilemma. (Tips on how to install baseboard heating)
Look Under Your Sink
Sometimes, the cold comes from the places where you least expect it to. One example is under your sink. In some houses, the holes meant for the pipes are wider than the pipes, allowing cold air to come in the gap. To solve this, spray the hole with a high-quality spray foam insulation. Another idea is stuffing the hole with regular insulation. This tactic will also work well for dryer and washer hoses.
You can also check the pipes themselves. Go under the house, and see if your pipes need insulating, This prevents the water from freezing up.
Pay Attention To Windows And Doors
A lot of cold can also enter your home through your doors and windows. Check these properly, inspecting their condition. Here’s what to do.
- Windows: Look at the caulking: are there pieces missing or cracking? Use a utility knife to cut out the old caulking and clean the windows, then replace them with a new one. Caulk around the frame, both inside and outside the window. For drafty windows, covering them with a plastic cover works. You can buy this from any hardware, available in a window kit. Just measure the plastic, cut it out, then staple to the window. Using heavy drapes also help insulate windows.
- Doors: Inspect your doors: is the weather stripping missing, stripped or not flushed with the door? If it is, then it’s time to replace it. Just pull the old one off, then scrape with a putty knife, so the sticky stuff will come off. Afterwards, cut the new one to fit it. Cut, peel and stick. If a draft comes in from the bottom of the door, install a draft stopper.
Wrap Your Porch With Plastic
If you have a porch that you often use and where wind blows very hard, you can apply plastic all over it. Not only does it keep the chill out, but it also cuts down the mess. Purchase a roll from a hardware store, cut it into sections, to fit the floor, then hold it down with wood strips. (Learn how to build a porch)
- Do these home improvement tactics even before winter comes, so you won’t be rushing around.
- Purchase insulated window coverings, such as shades and curtains. These help keep the cold out.
- Clean your furnace or stove before the cold comes, so if it needs special maintenance, you won’t need to rush.
- Use safety glasses and gloves and be very careful when using power tools.
If your home feels frosty during the winter season, just remember these maintenance tactics. You’ll soon get that snug and comfy temperature you want.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of house drafts.