The winter months can be harsh. The chill can make you feel uncomfortable and can have adverse effects on your health. As temperatures drop lower and lower, health problems can manifest themselves. Since most people are staying inside, cough and colds are easily transmitted. The cold weather also narrows your blood vessels, increasing the risks of heart attacks.
Keeping your home sufficiently warm can be one of your defenses against the cold weather and the health risks that come with it. Here are the things that you should do to ensure that your home stays warm, safe, and comfortable.
Maintain your heating system
Before the winter season comes, it is important to have your heating system checked and maintained. You wouldn’t want your heating system to give up on you in the middle of a cold winter’s night. Call in an HVAC professional to check and do the necessary repairs for your peace of mind.
Your HVAC professional will ensure that your furnace, heat exchanger, evaporator coil, thermostat, condensing unit, ductwork, and vents are all in good and working condition. An HVAC contractor will also run diagnostic tests to ensure that your heating system is working efficiently.
Check your doors and windows for drafts
Be sure to check your windows and doors for cracks or gaps that can let the chilly air inside your home. It can also let the warmed air escape, adding to your energy costs. Check for gaps and cracks by hand or you can light a candle and hold it around two inches from doors and windows. Watch for any flickering of flames. This means that there are gaps and cracks present.
Once you have located the draft, fix it immediately. Caulk or weatherstrip the gaps and leaks to fix the drafts. It can help keep your home warmer, as well as keep your heating system efficient.
Use thicker drapes
Change your thin and breezy curtains into something heavier. Heavy curtains can help keep the warmth inside your home. When the sun is out, open your curtains and blinds to let the heat from the sun in. Once the sun sets, close your blinds and curtains. This will help trap the heat inside, keeping your interiors warmer.
Use carpets and rugs on your flooring
The warmed air can escape through your floorboards, so you must find a way to insulate it. Bring out your carpets and rugs to help keep the heat from escaping. Wool carpets are your best bet. They are effective insulators, helping you to save 8 to 13% of your energy costs. This is due to the inherent properties of wool which include low thermal conductivity and high crimp.
Aside from keeping heat from leaking through your floors, wool carpets also add to the cozy appeal of your interior, making it warmer and more comfortable to your feet. Just ensure to vacuum your carpets at least once a week to prevent dust and allergens from accumulating.
Close off unused rooms
If you have empty rooms that no one is using, close them off, including the windows and vents. You don’t have to spend energy on heating rooms that no one is using.
Invest in warmer and thicker bedding
As the colder months come in, switch those satin sheets with something warmer, such as cotton or flannel. Heavier and thicker bedding will feel warmer and cozier. Add on a down-filled comforter and wrap yourself up like a burrito on those cold winter mornings. If the chill becomes unmanageable, you can use an electric blanket or an electric mattress pad. Since they are electric, you must ensure to use them properly to avoid overheating.
Use a space heater
A space heater is effective in heating your room if you want to save from your centralized heating. Portable heaters come in different sizes and capacities, so choose one that is suitable for the size of the room that you want to heat. Also, choose a heater that automatically shuts off should it overheat or if it keels over. Keep the heater far from your drapes and bedding to prevent them from coming in contact with each other.
Spruce up your bare walls
Wall hangings, such as tapestries, framed artworks, or mirrors can help warm up a room. Bookshelves are also effective in keeping your room warm. Decorate the walls that are located along your home’s perimeter with heavy wall tapestries and quilts. They can add to the character of your interior while helping trap in the heat.
Keep your vents clear and unblocked
Sometimes, you may unconsciously place a piece of furniture against a vent. Keep your vents clear of obstructions. Move furniture if needed, even just for the winter. This will help your room get the maximum heat that it can get from your heating system.
Of course, don’t forget to bring out your cardigans and sweaters to help you keep warm. Wear socks to keep your feet toasty warm. It is also helpful to stay active to keep your blood circulation going.