Maryland winters bring snowstorms and less-than-pleasant temperatures. But, before the winter weather truly kicks in this season, you’ll want to double check that your inside space is ready to conserve heat. From quick repairs to regular maintenance, there are many simple, low-cost solutions to winter-proofing your home. Follow these tips to keep your house comfortable without cranking the thermostat.
Maximize Heat from Fireplaces
Fireplaces are a great alternative to other heat sources in the cold weather. However, poor design or usage can make them inefficient, resulting in greater heat loss. If your home has a fireplace, follow these rules to conserve heat:
- Close the damper while the fireplace is not in use. This prevents warm air from escaping up your chimney.
- Close doors leading into the room. Blocking in heat from the fireplace alone will let you lower your thermostat settings for that room.
- Inspect the sealing and caulking around the hearth. Leaks may seem small, but the energy loss can be significant. Checking for a snug fit around the fireplace helps ensure there’s no space for heat to escape.
- Cover the fireplace with treated glass if you don’t anticipate using the fireplace at all this winter.
- Consider using wood fuel substitutes. These are compact, efficient sources of energy designed specifically for fireplace heating to yield a hotter and cleaner burn.
Add Weather Stripping to Your Windows
Since roughly 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows, you’ll want to invest in some weather stripping to conserve heat. Weather stripping adds another layer of heat insulation at the base and top of your windows, where much of the heat exits. Luckily, the installation process is very straight-forward. After purchasing weather stripping, simply prepare and clean the window before measuring, cutting and applying the strips on the interior side of each window.
Harness the Sun’s Energy
Winters are known for cloudy weather and reduced natural light, so take advantage of those rare times when the sun is out. Keep the curtains open if the window faces the sun, and make sure to close them at night or during cloudy weather. Shutting out the dark with a thick curtain will also add another layer of insulation between you and the cold weather.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Using your ceiling fan during the summer helps you stay cool. When you reverse the spinning direction in the winter, the opposite is true. Set your fan to spin clockwise when you look up at it, and the blades will circulate warmer air throughout your room. This helps to reuse the heat energy already created by your furnace.
When it’s time to put these simple practices into place, Cape Ace Hardware is here to help. We’re your local destination for winter solutions to help you conserve heat. Contact us at (410) 757-0797 to learn more about the heat conservation products that we offer.