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Here in the Midwest our fall weather has been absolutely beautiful. Until two days ago. To add insult to injury not only was it cold (read: high in the low 40’s) it rained all day. I finally had to turn the furnace on.
My house is about 99 years old, and the windows are definitely older than I am. It’s basically a 1920’s farmhouse that just happens to be in a small Iowa city. It is charming and has character for days, but it’s also about as drafty as a barn built in the same period. I was SO cold last winter I decided I needed to take some drastic measure this year.
Ok, maybe not drastic measures, but I have done some winterizing and today I am going to share a few simple steps. If you winterize your house you’ll not only notice a difference in temperature, you’ll notice it on your energy bill!
How To Winterize Your House
Plastic On The Windows
We need to replace our windows, but that is going to be a major expense. Since it isn’t currently in the budget, we put plastic over the windows to help insulate them. I resisted plastic on the windows for a long time because it reminds me of my impoverished childhood. Hot dogs and plastic over the windows scream poverty to me. After a teeth-chattering winter last year, I got over that aversion quickly and now I am excited to get this plastic up as soon as possible! This made a huge difference in the draftiness and immediately made the house feel warmer. This is the kit I purchased:
Cover Air Conditioners
When we bought our house the inspector told us the furnace needed to be replaced. We had planned to have central air installed when we replaced the unit. Once we got into the home we got a second opinion who told us the furnace was just fine in spite of its age. We have decided to leave it be until it breaks down, so that means we have window air conditioners.
We remove the smaller ones in colder months, but the big one downstairs was actually caulked into the window. Last year you could feel the cold air blowing through the vents, so this year I purchased a cover for inside and out! This one for the inside is quilted and fairly inconspicuous, and the one for the outside is plastic so it will deter more wind from coming through. I also got some foam to shove between the window panes to help keep air out.
More Tips For Winterizing
Making draft stoppers for drafty doors will make a huge difference in how warm your house feels. Changing your furnace filter regularly will help your furnace work better and be more energy efficient. Adding socket covers to any electrical outlets on exterior walls keeps heat in and cold out. Replacing worn or old weatherstripping on windows and doors will help, too.
Keep Yourself Warm
My best tip for saving money on your energy bills this winter is to keep yourself warm. Wear slippers, wear layers, and get thee an electric blanket. My electric blanket is somewhat of an icon in our house because I LOVE it and my family members (especially the furry ones) are always trying to steal it! It is a must have for at night, but also when I am sitting on the couch reading or watching TV.
Here is a YouTube video I did talking about winterizing:
If you live in an older home you can probably relate to the pain of winter time energy bills. Try winterizing your house and you will definitely see improvement! If you have any tips for winterizing and saving money, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!