Enclosed porches can make you feel cozy in winter. But, they can be a source of heat loss, too. Here are ways to guard against energy inefficiency this winter.
Watching snowflakes fall from the sky while you sip on hot chocolate and cuddle with a blanket on your indoor patio or porch is one of the best ways to enjoy the winter season. This year you can enjoy it even more as the below tips will help you to not worry about those sky rocketing electric bills due to your lost heat.
Cover leaking windows and doors
Not covering leaky windows and doors is a common mistake among northerners. Single pane windows tend to let cold air seep in, as do windows and doors that are not sealed properly. Good news is – there is a quick, inexpensive fix. Try covering your windows and patio doors with a clear plastic sheet. These indoor window insulator kits cover up to five windows or doors and are virtually sold anywhere for around $20.
Insulate outlets and wall switches
There is very little insulation behind your outlets and wall switches causing cold air to leak in. By removing the cover plates, placing a piece of foam insulation ($2 for ten pieces) over the hole, and replacing the cover will help reduce the amount of cold air leaking into your indoor patio and porch.
Do not be alarmed with the word holes. These “holes” in your exterior walls and floors are for plumbing pipes, vents, and electrical conduits. Every home has them. While these holes do serve a good purpose, they unfortunately can let the freezing winter air in, thus making you turn up the heat to keep the chill out. The solution is quite simple as filling these gaps and holes with sealant ($10) will do the trick.
While filling holes with sealant, it is also a good idea to check for any loose or cracked caulk that exposes to the outdoors. With the use of a putty knife or scraper, remove the old caulk, then seal around with the appropriate weatherproofing caulk recommended for the material.
Another item to note under this same category is door seals. Even with plenty of caulking, cold air can leak in if the weather strip has worn out. All you have to do is pull off the old strip and nail or staple down a new strip. Weather strips can be found at any hardware store for as cheap as $2.50 for ten feet.
Monitor your thermostat
Your thermostat is your friend (well, most of the time). Adjusting the indoor temperature when you are away from your home for more than four hours or even at night will definitely help to save you a few dollars on your bills. Making this part of your nightly routine will definitely make you feel at ease over the long run. Afraid that you will forget? There are programmable thermostats starting at around $250. While this investment may seem like a lot now, over the years you will be glad that you made it.
So there you have it, now you can sit, back, relax, and savor your enjoyment of the impending cold weather.