The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



4 Ways To Keep Warm This Winter (Without Touching the Thermostat)

 November 21, 2022 |  Home Maintenance, DIY |  windows, first-time homeowner, HVAC, insulation, winter

Days are getting shorter, and accompanying that plummeting winter breeze is our annual heating bill homecoming. Homeowners are always looking for ways to cut down on expenses, so for this holiday season, save a bit of goodwill for yourself! Here are four ways to keep warm for the holidays - without touching the thermostat.

1. Daylight Savings
Autumn and winter can mark a significant shift in your energy usage. There might be less sunlight to go around, but that doesn’t mean what’s left has to go to waste. Open your curtains and let as much sun into your home as possible to take advantage of this natural heat source. South-facing windows, in particular, have the greatest potential to benefit from winter sun beams, so do your best to capture this free advantage during daylight hours.

Remember, while opening your curtains and blinds will help to capture heat during the day, it will do the opposite once the sun sets. Closing your curtains at night will be the best way to retain that daytime heat and reduce dropping temperatures from nighttime chills.

2. Plugging Leaks
Icy breezes are relentless. Anyone who has opened an outer door on a particularly crisp morning knows how quickly that gust of winter wind can find its way inside. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to find any potential air leaks and secure them before temperatures drop too much.

Some of the worst perpetrators of air leaks are external doors and windows. Check weather stripping and seals around your door frames, replace or repair any that are damaged or missing, and consider investing in window film. Using caulk for cracks can also be a cost-effective strategy to defend against frigid winds. Of note, attics and basements are frequent offenders for developing unnoticed outdoor openings, and forgetting to close your fireplace dampers means easy entry for cool air.

3. Working Vents
Your vents are your heating delivery system for your home, so make sure you are getting effective usage from them. Check your furniture arrangement to see if you are inadvertently blocking air flow from your vents, and make sure your vents aren’t closed. These blockages could result in unneeded extra strain from your furnace or boiler.

On the other hand, make sure your vents associated with unused sections of your home aren’t open. Vacant rooms can be cut off by keeping doors shut and vents closed and covered. While this won’t necessarily keep you warmer, it’s a good way to save some money and reduce strain on your heating systems.

4. Regular Maintenance
The last thing, and probably the best thing you can do to keep warm this winter, is to ensure that your heating systems are working properly. Always keep up with your regular annual home maintenance inspections and rely on the professionals to make sure your home is in good shape heading into the winter. A trained home inspector knows where to look, and what to look for.

Still, if your furnace isn’t performing up to expectations, you might be due for a change in your furnace filter. When your furnace is experiencing higher usage (namely in the winter), filters need to be changed monthly for the best effect.

To make sure your home is in good shape for the winter, start with your annual NPI home maintenance inspection! Our property inspection network will connect you with an experienced professional in your area - schedule your appointment today!

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