I hate being cold. I always have. When I'm sleeping I usually have the covers up to my neck. I like to be warm and toasty at all times. Because of this winter is not my favorite season. I'm a summer girl. However, I know what to do in winter to keep warm. It's an important part of growing up in Chicago. Whether I am out commuting or relaxing at home I want to be warm and toasty. Because of this, I do what I can to create a cozy home in winter. And, I cannot tell you how many times a day I open my my Aprilaire app while sitting at my desk to pump up the temperature.
To keep warm in your home, you need to take care of your home. Being a homeowner is not for the faint of heart. If you don't take care of your home things will fall apart and cost you tons of money. Regular maintenance throughout the year is important. However, this is especially important in winter. Cold and wetness seeping into the wrong cracks of your home can wreak havoc and make your family uncomfortable. Below are some tips on how to make your home more comfortable and safe in winter.
6 Tips to Create a Cozy Home in Winter
Check Windows and Doors for Drafts
If you have an older home, over time drafts coming in windows and doors can be a problem. Before it gets too cold be sure to check all of the windows in your home for drafts. You may need to seal the cracks around the perimeter. You might remember seeing some of your relatives older homes with plastic on the windows in winter. This may not be very attractive, but depending on how old your windows are it may be necessary to keep the cold out and the heat.
You should also check the trim and weather stripping around all of your doors. It may be time to replace it, or add it to doors that don't have it. You can also put draft blocks under doors to keep valuable heat from seeping out. This keeps your home warmer and saves on your energy bills.
Get Your Furnace Checked
In winter your furnace is your home's best friend. However, if it's not working correctly you may encounter problems heating your home, or worse… it might break down altogether. And without heat, your home will be cold and your family will be uncomfortable. Schedule regular maintenance checks before winter and throughout the year to make sure things are in working order. This is also a good time to remember to change the filter. If you have a great filter like that in the Aprilaire High Efficiency Air Cleaner not only will your filter last longer, but you will have 94% of pollen and mold, 72% of airborne bacteria and fungi, and 56% of dust particles removed from your home. You also want to make sure that there are no obstructions around the furnace, and that the pilot light is working correctly.
Check Your Water Heater
Taking a shower in cold water is no fun. And being in the tub and realizing that you are out of hot water is no fun either. Keeping your water heater in tip top condition is important. In the past few days, one of my Facebook friends posted that her husband smelled an electrical burning smell. He went to investigate and discovered that that electric ignition on the water heater had sparked a fire! Thank goodness he caught it in time. You want to do regular checks of your water heater to make sure that all is well. In my own home I plan to use some smart home tech to monitor things in the basement. I can install leak sensors to let me know if water is detected in the basement. And I can use a smart outlet that can notify me if the power goes out. And of course smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors must be in place and working. Check those batteries!
Use Your Fireplace
I love curling up on my couch and feeling the heat from my fireplace! We actually just got ours serviced recently. We moved into our home in late February, but we did not use the fireplace. When we decided to use it this winter, we discovered that it was not working! We called the builder who took care of it right away. It turned out to be a simple fix. These things happen. Keep yours in working order so that you can take full advantage of not only the heat, but the beauty of it. Whether you have electric, gas, or wood-burning, fireplaces are great in winter, and work best if taken care of.
Get More Blankets
Blankets are my best friend in the winter. We have a lot of blankets in our home. When I upgrade comforter sets on the beds, I don't usually get rid of the old ones. I keep them on hand in case of emergencies like being without heat or power due to a storm. I keep a couple of throws on the family room couch for cozying up in front of the TV. And I keep extra blankets in the guest room closet. This is so if anyone gets cold in the middle of the night they can just grab an extra blanket. Or, if guests are staying over unexpectedly, we have no shortage of bedding.
Crank Up the Heat
Depending on just how cold it is outside you may need to up the heat on your furnace. We tend to keep ours at around 71 to 72 degrees. But occasionally that is just not warm enough. As mentioned above I love the ease of opening my my Aprilaire app to adjust the heat. I can do this without even getting off the couch, or out of the bed! And I can even tell Alexa or Google to turn up the heat.
If you are like me and you don't like the cold, take these steps to make your home a bit more comfortable and warmer in winter.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Aprilaire. All opinions are my own.