Winter is around the corner – are you prepared to stay warm? If you don’t have central heat, you’ve got to work a little harder to maintain a cozy temperature in your home. Start with these ideas for creating a warm and stylish home:
- Bubble wrap
Winters are especially cold with single-paned and older windows. If you can feel a draft by placing your hand near a window frame, your home is going to be cold when winter approaches. The heat from space heaters and wood stoves will escape through the windows, and it will be a battle to stay warm.
Bubble wrap can rescue you! Cut sections of bubble wrap to fit each window, and place each piece with the bubbles against the glass. The bubbles will trap cold air just like a double-paned window. You can tape the bubble wrap in place, or spray water against the window to hold it in place without ruining your window frames.
Bubble wrap is hard to see through, so get a roll with large bubbles so you can see through it more easily. If you want to have a clear view out the window, leave at least one window unwrapped.
An uninsulated window loses about 168k BTU throughout the winter season. A bubble-wrapped window will lose just 88k BTU during the same season. If you’re concerned about the way bubble wrap looks, just keep the curtains closed. It’s winter. Keeping drapes and curtains closed will help to keep the cold air out.
- Use the right materials for drapes and curtains
If you’re not the type to swap your curtains every season, there’s good reason to consider permanently switching to a material that will keep you warm in the winter. For example, suede coated curtains will retain the heat in your home. They’ll insulate your windows and reduce the need to run space heaters in the winter. Even when you have central heating, suede curtains can reduce your reliance on artificial heating.
When using curtains to stay warm, be sure to get floor length curtains that extend to both ends of the window to retain as much heat as possible.
- Install curtains across doorways
Rooms in large houses, especially Victorians, are often separated by large doors. To maintain household functionality, these doors are left open, allowing drafts to flow freely through the house.
If drafts that flow between rooms are cold, consider installing a curtain above each doorway to stop drafts from traveling between rooms. These floor-length curtains are traditionally called portieres. Make sure the curtain you choose can be clipped to large rings that will slide easily across the curtain rod. Or, buy room divider curtains that come with metal grommets at the top. Many room divider curtains will insulate sound, too, so it’s also a way of soundproofing your rooms.
- Get a wood stove
Contrary to popular belief, a fireplace isn’t an efficient source of heat. It’s fun to snuggle up in front of a fireplace in the winter, but it won’t heat your home. On the other hand, a wood stove will. A fireplace sucks warm air out of the room and it goes straight out the chimney. With a wood stove, you can control the air flow to manipulate your source of heat.
A wood stove won’t heat your entire home like central heating will, but it will heat up an entire room or two, depending on how good you get at building raging hot fires. A free-standing wood stove will make your home look great. You can even cook on top of some models, eliminating the need to use electricity to make coffee or soup.
If you’ve got an existing fireplace, all you need is a wood stove insert to turn it into an efficient source of heat. The wood stove insert can be vented up through your chimney.
- Get an infrared portable heater
When you don’t have central heat, the type of heater you use matters. Heat generated by convection isn’t efficient – infrared heat is. Infrared heat is the same kind of heat you experience from the sun. It’s absorbed deeply into your skin, and keeps you warm from the inside out. Infrared heat is retained in clothing as well. In other words, infrared heat warms you up. Heat generated by convection merely warms the area around you, and you need to be continuously exposed to the source of heat to stay warm.
If you’re going for style, get an infrared heater that looks like a fireplace. They’re less than $150 from Walmart, most come fully assembled, and many are on wheels.
Layer up, too
Don’t forget to layer up with wool and fleece to retain your body heat this winter!
Article Submitted By Community Writer