It's that time of year! ⛄️ Suffering from energy inefficiency? Read on for a handful of easy-to-apply tips that'll keep the cozy in, all winter long (no fire required).
With the winter months upon us, now is a great time to optimize your home to stay warm and toasty when the temperatures drop. Heating bills can get expensive quickly, especially if you live in an older building that isn’t energy efficient. Here are some easy things you can do to keep out the “brrr” without breaking the bank.
Weatherproof or Replace Old Windows And Doors
No matter how strong your heater is, it’s going to be difficult to keep heat in if your windows and doors aren’t sealed tightly. Even small cracks can let a lot of heat out (and cold in). We suggest thoroughly checking all windows and doors for potential drafty spots.
In many cases, you can seal up your windows using weatherproofing tape. For doors, you can add a draft guard along the bottom in addition to tape. However, there are some instances where you may need to completely replace your windows or doors. If that's the case for you (we're sorry!), you may want to invest in energy efficient windows, which use multiple panes to keep heat in.
(P.S. You may even qualify for tax breaks if you upgrade your home to be more energy efficient. Oo la la.)
Add Rugs To Your Space
If you have tile or hardwood floors, you know they can get chilly in the winter. Adding a thick rug immediately makes your floors warmer and more comfortable to walk on--and they also serve as a form of insulation. Wool in particular is very warm, durable, and feels soft on the feet.
Bonus points: you’ll warm up your space and catch the eye with some cozy, stylish decor. Win-win!
Bleed Your Radiators
Over time, air can get trapped inside your heating system, which makes it much more difficult to heat your home effectively. Plus, this trapped air usually causes a loud banging noise. (Um, annoying.) Bleeding your radiator lets this air out, which allows it to work effectively.
To bleed your radiator, you’ll need to turn your heat off and look for the bleed valve. Your heating system should come with a bleed key, which you will use to unlock that valve. When you do this, make sure to put a towel or bucket underneath the radiator to catch any water.
When you bleed the radiator, you’ll want to turn the valve only a quarter of the way to release the loose air. After you complete this process, be sure to adjust the pressure valve back to normal before turning the radiator back on.
Add Radiator Reflectors
Radiator reflectors can be an effective way to push heat back into your house instead of letting it escape. Ordinarily, when your radiator...er, radiates heat, it does so into your house--and the wall it sits against. If that wall borders the outside, you can say ta ta to that toastiness forever!
Reflectors are small, thin sheets that go inside your radiator and reflect heat back out into your home. On a budget? Aluminum foil will do the trick.
Change Your Filters Frequently
Improving the quality of air flow in your home can make a huge difference in how well your heater works. The filter on your heater can accrue dust and dirt over time, which means that it has to work harder to pump air out into your house. It’s easy to change or clean these air filters yourself, and it makes a huge difference in the level of heat you’ll receive.
Let Heat Flow Through Your Space
There are a few easy things you can do to push a little extra heat through your space and warm it up. For example, when you cook food in the oven, try keeping the oven door open afterward to let the extra heat dissipate throughout your kitchen. You can also try keeping your bathroom door open when you take a hot shower. These are small changes you can make to your routine that will make a huge difference in the way the space feels.
Schedule Regular Boiler Maintenance
It’s normal for your furnace or boiler to wear down over time with regular use. That’s why it’s so important to schedule preventative maintenance for your heater every year before winter starts.
A professional can identify any problem areas that need to be addressed, such as mold or dirt buildup or a loose part. Not only does regular maintenance help your heater run more efficiently, but it also prevents serious health and safety risks, like gas leaks!