Simple Home Upgrades That Make Winters More Enjoyable
Most people dread the cold months. Understandably, no one wants to deal with the freezing temperatures and reduced daylight hours. But winter doesn’t have to be so bad. Preparing your home and making a few adjustments ensures you’re comfortable all season long.
You will look forward to spending more time at home with your family or taking a break from work to relax in your own space. Which home upgrades make the most significant difference in your winter comfort?
Upgrade your Heating System
The heating system is critical during winter. Make sure it’s running efficiently and effectively. Schedule heating repair services as needed and have the system serviced by a professional before the cold weather hits. An inefficient heating system will not only make your home uncomfortable but also cost you more money in energy bills.
If it’s too old or not working as well as it used to, replace the entire system. Newer models are more efficient. Consider switching to a smart unit you can control from your phone or other devices.
Let in More Light
The reduced daylight hours can make your home feel dark and dreary. Let in as much natural light as possible to improve your mood and help you feel more awake during the day. Open the curtains and blinds when the sun is out. Consider skylights or solar tubes to bring in more light.
Another option is to add more artificial light. Install additional lamps and overhead lights. Consider LED bulbs, which use less energy than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Add dimmer switches to let you control how much light you need. You’ll not waste energy when full illumination isn’t necessary.
To brighten up the space, paint the walls a light color. This simple change makes a big difference and makes the room feel more open and cheerful.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat to make it easy to control the temperature in your home. Set the thermostat to lower the temperature when you’re away or asleep and raise it when home and need the heat. This simple change saves money on your energy bills. You can also use a smart thermostat to control the temperature remotely. The device comes in handy if you forget to adjust the temperature before leaving for work or going to bed.
Get a Fireplace or Wood Stove
Nothing creates a cozy atmosphere like a fireplace. If you don’t have one, it is time to install it. You can upgrade to a gas insert or wood stove if you have a traditional fireplace. These options are more efficient and easier to use. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, properly insulate to prevent heat loss.
Increase Insulation in Your Attic
If your attic isn’t properly insulated, heat escapes through the roof, costing you more money. Have an expert assess your attic’s insulation. They can add more insulation if necessary. While doing this, they can also check for air leaks and seal to prevent further heat loss. The walls, floors, and the basement also require adequate insulation to minimize heat loss.
Check for Drafts
Drafty windows and doors are a common source of heat loss. Check for drafts and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk. This simple upgrade prevents heat from escaping and keeps your home more comfortable. If the windows are too old or damaged, replace them.
New windows are more energy-efficient and improve the look of your home. Go for double- or triple-paned windows for the best results. They have a layer of argon or krypton gas between the panes, improving insulation.
Add Some Plants
Indoor plants not only brighten up your home but also improve air quality. They remove toxins and improve the humidity, making the air feel more comfortable. Snake, rubber, and spider plants are some of the best air-filtering options.
Plants also add humidity to the air, which is beneficial in winter when the air is dry. Not forgetting, bringing some nature inside makes you feel calmer and more relaxed.
Consider a Whole-House Humidifier
Dry air causes problems like static electricity, dry skin, and cracked woodwork. A whole-house humidifier makes the air more comfortable. This is beneficial in winter when the air is naturally drier. A humidifier also prevents your pipes from freezing, which can cause expensive damage.
Protect Your Pipes
When water freezes, it expands, causing pipes to burst. This is a common problem in winter when the temperature plummets. To prevent this, insulate and keep them warm using pipe insulation or heat tape.
Besides this, keep the temperatures in your home above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Open the cabinet doors under the sink to allow warm air to circulate. The effort prevents pipes in these areas from freezing.
Install Smart Home Devices
There are many smart devices that you can use to make your home more comfortable and efficient. Convinience in winter is vital, and these devices provide just that. Smart plugs let you control your appliances remotely. You can also use them to schedule when your lights or TV turn on or off, conserving energy.
Create Space For Enjoyable Winter Indoor Activities
Making your home more comfortable in winter isn’t the only thing you can do. You can also create space for indoor activities that you and your family can enjoy. Set up a game room with a pool or foosball table. If you have young children, consider a playroom.
Games keep children entertained, giving you some time to relax. You can also create a home theater or build a bar in the basement. Keeping yourself in shape is also essential. Set up a small gym in your basement or spare room.
Educate Your Family About Conserving Energy
Your family members can help you conserve energy and lower the heating bills. Show them how to use the thermostat and seal windows and doors properly. Let them understand the importance of turning off lights when they leave a room and unplugging appliances when not in use.
Encourage them to dress warmly and use blankets instead of turning up the heat. These simple tips can make a big difference in your energy consumption.
Upgrading your home is not a one-day event. Keep making improvements that make your home more comfortable and efficient. The upgrades will change as your lifestyle or family needs change, but the goal is always to make your home a better place.