Energy Saving Tips For Cold Weather

Designer extraordinaire, and guest author Daniela Garritano returns and this time she is writing about Energy Saving Tips For Cold Weather. If you would like to secure her services, don’t be afraid to email her by clicking here. Take it away D…

Brrr! It’s coming!

We all know the signs. Mornings are crisper, evenings are darker, and summer jammies have turned to flannel. Love it or hate it folks, a great Canadian winter is just around the corner!

I actually love the change of season! However, there are concepts of the colder months, that aren’t so lovely. Cold weather can mean cranked thermostats with sky rocketing energy costs. Truth is, the hindrance of a cold home can come from any given factor such as age, the elements themselves or regrettably, poor construction. You can pay top dollar for a Home Inspector or Energy Auditor to pinpoint the problem, or you can try some simple DIY tips to tackle it on your own. Plus, the beauty of weather proofing your home isn’t just the economical benefits, but also the environmental. Less energy means less carbon you’re pumping out into our beautiful planet. Yay!

Below is a list of the most common heat sucking culprits found within your home. Nipping these in the bud won’t only keep you super toasty, but it will be keeping you warmer, for less!

1)         The Window

Have you ever noticed that you could have the fire going, the heat jacked, and be buried under a sea of blankets, but still feel cold? Like an unwanted guest, a draft has likely snuck its way in!

Daniela’s Check: Tackle every window in the house to really make sure you’ve covered your tracks! Hold a lighter or lit candle close to the window frame, and trace its perimeter to ensure you have covered each inch. If the flame does a little dance, there’s a draft!

D’s Fix it: Bust out the caulking gun! Start at a corner, and pump a thin line around the window frame against the leak.  Neatly glide your index finger over the caulking line to fully fill in the leak and get a smooth finish. If the caulking gets too tacky, dip your finger in some water and smooth it over again until you have a seamless finish.  Try Mono Window and Door Leak Caulking, $3.99 available at the Home Depot.

Bonus Tip! In some cases, plastic sheeting is a big hit to ‘winterize’ your windows. To do, wash the window frame and once dry, trace it with double sided tape. Starting at the top, spread out a plastic sheet and pull it out, covering the entire window. Fasten to the tape and leave about an inch on each side. Trim any excess. To smooth out any wrinkles, slowly pass a heat gun (or blow dryer!) over top of the plastic and watch it shrink! Voila! Cold air is blocked!

2)         The Door

The window isn’t always the sole offender. My home was inexplicably frigid, until one night during a power outage, there was a glow beaming through the frame of the front door! Eureka!

Daniela’s Check: This is best to check in the evening when it’s super dark. Shut off all of the lights inside your home and have a buddy shine a flashlight from the outside of the house towards the door. If you see a glow around the frame, you’ve likely found a leak!

D’s Fix: A super easy fix is with waterproof weather stripper (you can use this around the windows as well if caulking is a challenge) Simple apply the self adhesive backing to the inside of the door frame against the leak and smooth into place. Try Tago Foam Tape Self Adhesive Weatherstripper for Window’s and Door’s, $4.47 available at the Home Depot.

3)         The Garage Door

The garage door is a major heat hauling perpetrator because of its scale. In some cases, gaps in between the door and the frame can measure up to a quarter inch thick without being visible!

Daniela’s Check: Much like the front door, the ‘ol flashlight and glowing doorframe can be applied in this case as well. Doors that lead to the garage or cellar should be checked and weatherproofed along the base too!

D’s Fix: Apply foam rods or rubber gasket strips to the top and bottom of the garage door. They’re made for larger gaps and drafts that find their way inside your home each time the garage is accessed. They can be packed in to fit snuggly inside the gap and are moisture resistant. You may want to apply a thin line of caulking after it has been inserted, just for extra grip and seal. Try Tago Backer Rod Foam Insulator, $5.67 available at Home Depot.

4)         The Outlet

Dryer hoses, bathrooms vents and kitchen fans can be a gateway for the cold to seep its way in. Proper insulation not only protects you from the elements, but can also extend the life of the vent itself. Electrical and cable outlets are also easy access for Old Man Winter, so bundle up!

Daniela’s Check: Unscrew an electrical plate that is connected to an exterior wall and take a peek behind the outlet. Do you see a light peering through? Or perhaps an empty shell? If so, it’s just one extra nook for cold air to make its way in!

D’s Fix: Brilliantly easy and truly a perfect fit! Simply insert foam outlet insulation to the back of your switch or electrical plate! They’re pre-cut to size, moisture resistant and take two seconds to install. They also work for television and phone cables! Try Tago Electrical Outlet & Switch Insulator, $4.47 for a pack of 10, available at Home Depot.

Happy Saving!

Next time: Trick or Treat! Be a big hit for little bucks!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Pati

    Daniela I am really enjoying your articles! Your advice is always so clear, practical and reaslistic. All of these tips are fantastic. We unfortunately, had a major problem with our builders last winter. We moved into our brand new home last November, and our home was absolutely freezing all the time. Not one of the windows was properly installed and we ended up in a major dispute with the builder. Finally, after 7 months, they finally came back and re-installed all of the windows which I’m still not entirely pleased with (we were living with no trim on the windows for 2 months) Thanks again!

  • Anja

    Very nice cash-home photo! Idea to save energy: be outdoor.