KATHY’S HOME & GARDEN TIPS – STAY WARM EFFICIENTLY
First of all shut the door. If you really think about we don’t use all of the rooms in our house on a daily basis. Keep doors closed to rooms you don’t use every day like guest rooms. No need to heat rooms you aren’t using. Don’t close the vents completely. The rooms need a minimum of 55 degrees or else structural damage can occur.
Strange as it sounds the more pictures and other hangings on the inside of your exterior walls the better. Bookshelves are the best at insulating those outside walls. There was a reason they used to hang tapestries from castle walls.
Although somewhat out of fashion now heavy curtains go a long way in keeping out drafts through the windows. Especially in homes without double paned glass. Even with energy efficient windows closing curtains and blinds will help out a lot.
How you arrange your furniture can help keep you warmer. Try and keep furniture away from exterior walls. Even a buffer of 12-14 inches can help. Sleeping against an exterior wall can give you a stiff neck. Use as thick a headboard as you can find. You can DIY one in a jiffy with a wooden frame cotton batting fabric and a staple gun. It doesn’t even need feet just nail it to the wall.
You can still save money and stay warm. Use a programmable thermostat or a smart system like Nest to adjust heat when you don’t need the temperature higher than 66° while under the quilt and in your footie pajamas. The same when you are gone all day. We wear long underwear and sweatshirts or sweaters. I even love using knitted shawls and big thick scarves to stay warm.
Make sure you go around the house from basement to attic to seal any gaps you can find. Use silicone caulk for gaps up to ¼ inch. Make sure to use heat resistant caulk around any heat source. With larger gaps up to three inches use spray foam. Be careful until you get used to it. A little goes a long way. Attic insulation needs to be 12-14 inches. Go to energystar.gov to download a DIY guide for you ambitious guys. It’s great with diagrams and pictures. Search attic insulation. I’ve found energystar.gov is a valuable resource for all things energy saving.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO