OK so this isn’t going to be the MOST riveting post ever, but if you live in a country that gets a proper winter (I’m lookin’ at you, Canadians!) then you know that it’s smart to make sure your house is well “sealed” for the colder months. You guys know I’m a budget-friendly kind of gal… and throwing out tons of money in huge heating bills is not exactly what anyone wants to be doing, right?
With our post-reno house, most materials are new so we now have great insulation, better windows, etc. than we did in our bungalow, but there are still things we have been able to do to ensure that our house stays as toasty as possible. I wanted to share the strategies and tips we have used, in case any of this would be helpful for you guys!
The big thing you need to think about is where your home might be leaking air, and deal with it. These are the most common spots for air leaks:
-around windows & doors
-around pipes, vents, and ducts
-electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls
-gaps where walls meet floors
1 / Caulking around windows, doors, vents.
You’ll want to look for old caulking or gaps in your caulking and cut out the old stuff and re-caulk. This needs to be done both on the interior and exterior of your pad. The products we used this winter were from DAP, which you can get at just about any hardware store — they carry interior caulking, exterior caulking, and a foam product that expands. We used this little cheat sheet to figure out what to use where. Super helpful!
Dan basically went around the whole house with several of these products (they were great and easy to use!) and fixed things up where it needed it. Some of our caulking hadn’t even been done yet as elements were only completed this past spring and we hadn’t gotten to it (whoops!). Didn’t take long, but one of those tasks that sat on our to-do list for longer than it should’ve.
2 / Weather strip your doors.
Doors have weather-stripping pieces around them that help to keep drafts out. If your exterior doors don’t have weather stripping, or if it’s old and worn, then replacing it is really easy and doesn’t cost much. We did this on our front door of the bungalow and it made a huge difference in how well sealed it was. We have a brand new front door now that is well-sealed, so luckily we didn’t have to think about it for this year.
3 / Electrical Covers.
Did you realize that air can escape through your electrical sockets? Who knew, right?! Well, you can fill that area behind the outlet covers with a foam sealant to prevent air from getting through. You want to turn off all power, clean the surface, and then if the gap between the wall and the box is over 1/2″ wide, fill it with latex insulating foam sealant. If the gap is 1/2″ wide or less, use a sealant. All the info on that is below – again, a helpful little guide – and you can get the products you need from DAP.
4 / Window Plastic.
Windows are leaky and annoying. We have new windows in about 75% of our house, but re-used the old ones where we could to save money during our reno. If you notice that your windows are particularly cold in the winter, then covering them in a window insulation film is a good option. Sure it might not look awesome, but especially for windows in bedrooms or basements that aren’t seen much, it makes a lot of sense. I used to do this in my frigid bedroom in University every winter. Pull out the ol’ hair dryer and seal on some plastic (you can buy the window plastic from any hardware store).
5 / Curtains.
So this doesn’t seem super obvious, but if you have curtains in your house and are able to close them when you are out or during the night, they actually really work to keep the house warmer. My Mum just ordered curtain liners to add to her regular curtains to really help keep the cool out (they have some large screen doors in their main family room that tend to get cold). I’m having a weird love moment with the idea of velvet curtains… and I feel like they would be amazing at keeping the house toasty!
So that’s it. Some tips and ideas to keep your house warm and energy bills low. Cause really, it’s way more fun to put that money saved toward other things (I’m thinking the travel fund, amiright?!).
Do you guys do anything to help keep your costs down in winter? Any other “winterize” tips you have to share?
Note: This post was sponsored by DAP. All opinions, as always, are my own. We use Dap products regularly (hello the ridiculous amount of nail hole filler I used on ALL THE TRIM in our pad…!!) and I was happy to partner with them on this topic.