In my last piece I talked a bit about surveying a home for fall house improvements. This included making a detailed floor plan and examining potential problem areas for drafts. Homeowners should be concerned about drafts as they can be a costly problem, adding up to extra spending during the winter months when the warmth from electric heaters and furnaces escapes the house.
Now, we talked a little bit about moving toward long-term solutions, but today I'd like to focus on cost-effective solutions, as I know not everyone has the big bucks to spend on new windows and doors, especially before the holiday season.
So, let's get one thing out of the way, cost-effective doesn't mean ineffective. For example, a door sweep can be a handy tool for making a house airtight against winter drafts. I'm sure you've all seen one of these, they're usually made of rubber and form an extra barrier between a home and the whipping winter winds. These items can be found for less than $10, and offer more savings in return. So, if you're looking for a low cost solution to door drafts, I wouldn't pass them over.
Next, my wife and I are fortunate enough to have a lovely fireplace in our ranch home. However, when we don't use it, we place a fireplace cover over the inside opening. This can be essential, especially for those with older chimneys, or really any chimney at all, as cold air can seep through this vent, where it mingles with warmer air.
A temporary fix for window drafts can also be to invest in heavy drapes and curtains. These measures will ensure that your oil-filled heaters or space heaters aren't working overtime.