35 Methods to Prepare Your Home for Winter (Without Harming Your Family)

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Green Lifestyle

Marye Audet
DCL

There are countless tips available online for preparing your home for winter, but many of them are not environmentally friendly. If you want to avoid inhaling toxic chemicals all season long, take a look at these tips for creating a warmer home and maintaining healthy breathing throughout the winter.

Safe Tips for Winterizing Your Home:

1. Consider using eco-friendly alternatives for traditional insulation, such as cellulose and spray foam.

2. Learn from the past generation by planting evergreens near your home and planting a windbreak on your property, which can save up to 30% on energy costs.

3. Your attached garage can add to the difficulty in heating your home. It is a large, unheated space that usually shares a wall with either the kitchen or the den. Keeping it warm will help keep the whole house warm. Check out the instructions for making a solar heater for your garage.

4. Install a permanent furnace filter to reduce waste and maintain clean air.

5. Cover your windows with plastic to keep out the cold air.

6. You can also use bubble wrap to cover your windows. The air in the bubbles helps insulate even more.

7. Create a draft stopper by sewing one yourself.

8. Install weather stripping.

9. Use non-vinyl blackout curtains to retain heat and keep out the cold.

10. Add a door sweep to each exterior door.

11. Purchase straw bales from a local feed store and place them around the foundation of your home to block cold air and keep the floors warmer, especially if you have pier and beam.

12. Have your furnace serviced to ensure that it is running safely and properly.

13. Check your exposed duct-work, as raccoons and other animals may tear or loosen it from the registers over time.

14. Consider insulating your duct-work to keep the heated air warm as it moves through unheated spaces under the house or in the attic.

15. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to push hot air down and circulate it throughout the house.

16. Install foam insulation gaskets around your electrical outlets and keep them covered when not in use.

17. Installing storm doors and windows can reduce your energy bill by up to 45%.

18. Move any furniture away from vents.

19. Consider high-efficiency heating options.

20. Cover your water heater with an insulating blanket. Check out this video by Sierra Club for instructions.

21. If you have an old-fashioned radiator, use a fan to help distribute the warm air and place a reflector behind it.

22. Purchase organic cotton thermal long johns for everyone in the family.

23. Keep your ears covered.

24. Wear layers of clothing made from breathable organic fabrics.

25. Eat soups to help maintain your body temperature.

26. Close the doors of any unused rooms.

27. If you reside in an old house, live the way people did before. Our kitchen has a fireplace and a door. During winter, we gather around the kitchen table near the fireplace (since we had many trees fall the past year) with the door shut, while keeping the heat low in other parts of the house.

28. Improve your home’s air quality. If you seal your thermal envelope too tightly, it can be hazardous unless you look out for your air quality. Get a heat recovery ventilator if you seal your house up tight.

29. Grow some herbs and veggies indoors. Not only are they perfect for adding to soups and stews, but plants also filter toxins out of the air.

30. During the day, open the curtains on the south/west side of your home to capture the sun’s warmth. Close them at night to keep out the cold.

31. Cold feet? Put some ground cayenne or ginger in your socks. You can do the same with mittens, but avoid doing this with small children since it can be painful if a finger goes into an eye!

32. Place hot baked potatoes wrapped in flannel in your bed about 15 minutes before bedtime. Your bed will be warm, and you’ll have potatoes ready to make hash browns for breakfast.

33. Another old-fashioned remedy is to hang a thick curtain in front of the door. Use round hangers, and you can quickly push it aside to open the door.

34. If you have a two-story house, the upstairs will always be warmer than the downstairs. Therefore, plan on spending more time upstairs.

35. Bake bread. It’s enjoyable, it warms up the house, and it tastes delicious.

FAQ

1. Why is winterizing your home important?

Winterizing your home is important to keep your family safe and comfortable during the colder months. It also helps to reduce energy costs and prevent damage to your home from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.

2. What are some common winterizing tasks?

Common winterizing tasks include sealing air leaks, insulating pipes, cleaning gutters, and servicing your heating system. You may also want to install storm windows or cover your windows with plastic film to prevent heat loss.

3. How can I seal air leaks in my home?

You can seal air leaks by applying weatherstripping around doors and windows, caulking gaps in your walls and foundation, and sealing ducts and vents. You may also want to install draft stoppers under doors to prevent cold air from entering your home.

4. What should I do to prepare my heating system for winter?

You should have your heating system serviced by a professional before the start of winter to ensure that it is running efficiently and safely. You should also replace your air filter and check your thermostat to make sure it is working properly.

5. How can I prevent frozen pipes?

You can prevent frozen pipes by insulating them with foam sleeves or wrapping them with heat tape. You should also keep your home at a consistent temperature, even when you are away, to prevent pipes from freezing.

6. What should I do to prepare my outdoor areas?

You should clean gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams from forming. You should also trim trees and bushes away from your home to prevent damage from heavy snow and ice. Lastly, you may want to cover your outdoor furniture and grill to protect them from the elements.

7. How can I improve the efficiency of my fireplace?

You can improve the efficiency of your fireplace by installing glass doors and a heat exchanger. You should also make sure that your damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use to prevent warm air from escaping.

8. How can I stay safe while using space heaters?

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using space heaters. Keep them at least three feet away from anything flammable and never leave them unattended. You should also make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

9. What are some eco-friendly ways to winterize my home?

You can use eco-friendly insulation, such as cellulose or recycled denim, to insulate your home. You can also use natural materials, such as wool or down, for blankets and window coverings. Lastly, you can use a programmable thermostat to reduce energy usage and save money on your heating bill.

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