Yeah…you could put on 6 layers of clothing and spend your whole day under a blanket just to stay warm and comfortable inside your own home. But, really, who wants to do that?
You want to dress in your normal clothing and live the way you want on your terms. You don’t want to make all these ridiculous changes to your lifestyle just so you can stay a little bit warmer.
If you don’t want to make personal lifestyle changes, here are some things you can do to make sure your home stays warm and comfortable during fall and winter:
1. If You Have a Fireplace or Wood-Burning or Pellet-Burning Furnace…
First, if you also have forced air, turn the fan on to help circulate heat. Make sure your ceiling fans rotate clockwise so they pull cool air up off the floor and push warm air down. And also keep them running at their lowest speed. If you don’t, you’ll simply feel the chill from the cool breeze they create.
You can also get as low-tech as a box-fan. Simply set the fan to low, and face it into space where your fireplace or wood-burning stove is so it blows cool air directly at the unit. What this does is cause a convection-reaction that forces the hot air away from the heat source.
If that doesn’t get you comfortable, you may need to do some minor renovations. For example, you might add a vent over the burning unit that allows warm air into the rooms above.
2. Make Sure You Have Good Insulation
To keep the warm air circulating around your home, the only other thing you can do is to make sure most of it actually stays inside. Windows, doors, and your attic are the greatest sources of heat loss.
So, make sure you have door seals on all your doors. Get some plastic covering the interior of all your windows. Seal your attic door. And if you have the money, make sure you have your attic’s insulation at the proper depth. You could also do the same for your walls. But, the return on your investment is much lesser there.
However, do be aware that making your money back on insulation usually takes just a few years. So, it’s one of the wiser energy savings investments you can make.
3. Zone Heating System
A zoned heating system allows you to optimize the flow of warm and cool air within your house by separating your home into different areas that are controlled by different thermostats. From there, the thermostat controls the circulation of each respective zone and determines if it has reached the desired temperature. The system will regulate the temperature, adjusting it up or down should there be a need.
Zone heating systems are particularly advantageous for maintaining a cohesive temperature throughout the home. Due to the fact that heat rises, often houses become warmer upstairs than down. Zone heating combats this by reducing air flow to areas that are approaching or are at optimal levels, allowing more of the warm air to be sent towards the zones in need.
4. Adjust The Layout of the Room
One often overlooked factor that contributes to the reduction of warm air circulation is the blockage of vents and mitigation of air spread due to furniture. Though it may not seem like much, rooms that hold couches and chairs can prevent the flow of warm air from entering the space. What this does is stops temperatures from reaching desired levels and needlessly costs homeowners money.
Over time as blockages remain, the system has to work harder to provide proper heating. This puts a strain on it, which can lead to more rapid breakdown of the HVAC system. In addition to limiting circulation, the obstruction also damages the furniture as well. To allow for greater heat flow, go through your rooms and look for any furniture that could be blocking vents. This includes rugs and even curtains. Clearing them away and allowing for heat to circulate will make your rooms more comfortable.
5. Heat-Trapping Curtains
While curtains and other window dressings can be a contributing factor to poor heat circulation, they can also provide an answer to how to enable the flow of warm air. Especially for those that are darker in color, curtains can absorb the heat the comes from outside of the house and inside as well. In their place along the windows, they are in direct contact with any leaks.
When the temperature begins to drop and cool air starts to enter the house through small openings, curtains can be a great way to mitigate the infiltration of cold air. The heat they trap within can also be transferred to the entering air, allow for it to circulate at a warmer temperature. Curtains also prevent warm air from getting out through cracks in the window, further helping to maintain warm temperatures and circulation within the home.