How to Keep Your House Warm in Winter

Here in Michigan we have been having negative temperatures. My house is an older house so it is very drafty. This set me on my way to find out how I can make my home warmer. I am here to share everything I have learned in hopes to save you some money and get more heat.

During the cold months your pipes can freeze up. They make something called heat tape. You buy this along with fiberglass insulation. First you wrap the pipes with the heat tape. It has a plug on the end, so that you can literal heat up the pipe. Then you wrap the pipe with the fiberglass insulation. Add some electrical tape to hold everything in place. On the cold days you plug in the heat tape this way you will not have frozen pipes. If you leave your pipes frozen you could end up with a problem that you might not be able to handle.

Plastic on your windows is a common since thing. Sometimes though you may skip a window thinking it might not leak. Well if your going to do one, you mine as well do them all. They make plastic in thick rolls in which you must tape up. This one kind of looks tacky. If you have really drafty windows though, this would be your best option. On the windows that either have very little or no draft then you can use the other plastic. This plastic comes in pre cut sheets and has double sided tape. You tape it to your window with the tape and then you use a blow dryer to make a tight fit. These type of plastics are see through, so you can still look out your window as normal.

One big issue I noticed here was my outlets and light switches. If they were against a main wall I could feel the cold air just seeping though. I would have never even thought to check it. They make something called great stuff. Its like a filler. Take off your switch plate and fill the hole around your electrical box with the great stuff. Be careful though as this stuff expands. Once its dry, put the switch plate back on the wall.

This option may cause a lot of arguments but if you have a ceiling fan it can still be very useful. If you have a reverse switch then flip that and place your ceiling fan on the lowest setting. The fans help bring heat down to your level. If you have cathedral or high sloped ceilings then this will defentally work for you. If you have regular ceilings then you will need to use your best judgement.

Drafty doors can be a huge problem. Its a known fact that rising hot air will pull cold air from outside into the house. Its called stack effect. Seal the gap at the bottom of the door with a door snake. You can buy these for pretty cheep or you can simply make one your self. A snake is a long thick cloth sack usually filled with dried peas or rice. Just make sure you fill it with something that will not spoil and will be heavy enough to stay in place.

If the draft snake is not convenient for you, like if you have people in and out the door most of the day then this might get a little aggravating moving and re-placing the snake then there is something else you can do for drafty doors. You can install a draft defeating nylon floor sweep. Although this takes a little more time to install and it cost a bit more, its more useful in high traffic doors. All you do is screw in the long vinyl at the bottom of your door. Then cut the plastic so it just sweeps your floor when you close it. It might not cut down on all the draft, but it will help out a lot.

Take a look at the outside of your house. Check the siding by looking for any cracks and gaps. You can caulk the gaps and cracks in the siding with a caulk gun. If you have brick exterior then you can find masonry sealer that comes in small packages for crack fillings.

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