If you find yourself bundling up while indoors this winter, there are a number of issues that might be plaguing you (and your home). When a home doesn’t heat evenly, it not only makes everyone uncomfortable, it can also lead to alarming energy bills. You should be comfortable in your home, especially during the holidays, and there are things you can do which are low cost and even free to regulate those indoor temperatures.
First, note that it’s simply easier for a newer home to evenly heat than an older home. They’re usually better insulated, don’t have poor windows that allow heat to escape and cold air to creep in, and they’re often not the sprawling Victorian-esque architectural giants of older homes. That’s still no excuse though. Here are the top reasons your home may not be heating evenly and what to do about it.
The Escape Artist
It’s a simple fact: Heat naturally rises. Unfortunately, you probably want that heat down by your feet so you don’t have to wear house shoes 24/7, not heat up on the ceiling where nobody is benefiting. Ideally, installing radiant heat (which heats the floor and sticks close to that surface) is the best move, but it’s also a luxury for many who would rather spend their extra cash on gifts and vacations than a new heating system. Instead, ensure that the heat you do have is confined to rooms that are used. Shut the doors to guest rooms, closets and other little-used rooms and ensure there’s something to block the heat from creeping in below the doors (whether that’s a towel or a kickplate).
Heat especially likes escaping through windows, and unfortunately many heating vents are installed (you guessed it!) right below windows. You can replace windows with thicker panes, or you can simply install a window sheet protector yourself. Make sure vents are never blocked and have a big buffer space, even if that means moving the couch out of its feng shui location. Even saran wrap that’s tightly adhered to windows can provide a great barrier. Close your blinds or windows whenever possible, too, because that’s a great heat trapper that’s already installed.
Make the Most of It
The good news is that, during the holidays, many people are baking up a storm. While it’s not safe to use an oven or stove as a heat source, they naturally become one when you’re cooking. Make the most of existing heat sources including fireplaces and ovens when baking up that apple pie. These don’t provide “even heat,” but they complement a heating system while not adding on to the energy bill.
Of course, one of the biggest issues with uneven heat might be something as minor as a dirty filter. Every autumn, have a heating and cooling specialist survey your home for any issues. You might need a new filter, an upgrade to better pipe insulation sleeves or you might even have a gas leak which isn’t just an energy suck but also very dangerous. Consider it your “autumn cleaning” and ensure that you go into the New Year warm, toasty and safe.