When you first purchased your older home you were probably thinking about how charming it is. Come winter, shivering, wrapped in an oversized sweater and a blanket, you might begin to second-guess the charm. Knowing the best way to heat an older house can be difficult, especially when warm air seems to escape out of every crevice. But don’t worry, there are ways to trap the heat in.
10 Tips on How to Heat an Old House
1. Audit Your Energy Use
Unsure of what’s making your home so chilly? Do an energy audit. Some utility companies offer energy audits for free, so check to see if yours does. If so, it’s definitely worth it. It’ll show you exactly where warm air is escaping and cold air is entering. You won’t have to blindly problem-solve anymore. Can’t afford a professional energy audit? You could also DIY it to figure out where large drafts are coming from.
2. Check Your Windows
Sealing gaps around your windows are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to increase the warmth of your home. Just caulk any gaps in your window sash and you’re good to go.
A lot of older homes have single-paned windows. If your windows are single-paned, you’re losing a lot of heat through them. Double-paned windows are definitely worth the money. In the short term, replacing windows can be pretty expensive. If you can’t afford to replace windows, look into getting window inserts. They can help insulate your home for a little less cash.
3. Curtains Are More Than Just Decoration
Want to further stop heat from escaping through your windows? Invest in insulated curtains. Insulated curtains are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so you can probably find something that fits your style.
4. Mind the Gaps
Little gaps at the bottom of a door are literally the same as a hole in your wall. They let in cold air and let heat escape. You can fix this by adding weatherstripping around the bottom of the door. For an even easier option, you can buy (or make!) a door snake. Essentially, you just need to have some way to block the cold air from coming in.
5. Unused Fireplace
If your home has an unused fireplace, chances are a good amount of heat is lost up the chimney and money is lost from your wallet heating your home. A chimney balloon can create a seal, stopping your house from being drafty.
6. Got Insulation?
Insulation is crucial to maintaining a toasty home. If your home is insulation free (or just doesn’t have a lot of insulation), look into hiring someone to insulate your home. It’ll be an investment, but long-term your house will be much much more energy efficient.
7. Consider a Programmable Thermostat
Deliberately thinking about when your home is being heated can save you a good chunk of money. If you’re not in the home, you shouldn’t be paying to heat it. A smart home or modern, tech savvy thermostat can allow you to remotely control how warm your house is. Let’s say that while you’re at work your thermostat is set to 60° but you want it to be a cozy 68° by the time you get home. You can remotely adjust the thermostat temperature so it’ll be warm by the time you get there. At the very least, make sure you have a programmable thermostat. Paying for heating in your home while you’re not there is a waste of money.
8. Don’t Block the Heat!
If your home has a radiator, make sure large pieces of furniture aren’t blocking it. If you put your oversized comfy chair in front of the radiator, at least part of the heat is being absorbed by the furniture. And not distributed throughout your house.
9. Ever Wanted Floor Heating?
Okay, this example is a little bit extravagant, but we just want to put it out there. Heated floors can be an absolutely delightful (and energy-efficient) way to heat your home. Designed specifically for remodels, Warmboard-R makes it easy to get heated floors in your charming older home.
10. Snuggle up!
If the last option was extravagant, this option is astoundingly simple. Your pets are essentially adorable, walking heaters. When push comes to shove, you can always grab a blanket and a cup of tea and curl up with your furry friend.
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