Home Improvements That Will Keep Your Bay Area Home Warm In Winter
One of the Bay Area’s claims to fame is that the region never experiences frigid winters. However, it still gets chilly during wintertime, especially at night and in cities by the water, like San Francisco and Oakland. But because of the Bay Area’s typically mild climate, many homes in the region aren’t equipped with heating systems. So when the temperature does drop, residents are left to fend for themselves. Luckily, there are many easy improvements you can make to your home that will keep your living space warmer in the winter. Here are some improvements to try before winter arrives:
Mind the Gaps, Please
Although you (hopefully) don’t have any gaping holes in your roof or walls, cold air can come in through spaces you didn’t even think of, like the spaces under doors and around windows. To keep out the cold, caulk around windows and doors to seal up cracks. A quick caulking job can not only keep cold air at bay, but also critters and insects. If necessary, you can add weather stripping as well to ensure the doors are sealed tight.
Add Glass Doors to Fireplaces
When there’s no fire in the fireplace, the chimney simply serves as a giant hole that lets in cold air and causes warm air to escape (heat rises, after all). To remedy this issue, install some glass doors that will close off the fireplace when it’s not in use.
Install an Insulated Garage Door
Ever notice that your garage tends to magnify whatever the weather is like outside? In the summers, your garage likely becomes uncomfortably warm, while in the winter, the garage chills you to the bone. That’s because the garage doors installed in most homes are usually not insulated. Solve this problem by buying an insulated garage door for maximum efficiency. They’ll do a far better job of regulating temperature changes so your house will feel slightly cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If you have an older home, chances are an additional layer of insulation could do the house a lot of good. Start with places like the attic, crawl space, garage, and basement. Opening up the exterior walls is a bigger job, but adding insulation there is something to consider if you were already planning to do some large-scale construction on your home.
Buy a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save you money while also regulating the temperature in your home more effectively. Every degree you lower the heat saves you three percent on your heating bill. With a programmable thermostat, you can keep the temperature low while you’re sleeping and raise it when you wake up. A conventional thermostat will achieve the same result, but it’s more of a hassle to adjust everything manually and it’s likely you’ll sometimes forget to do so.
Take a look at the layout of the furniture in your home. Is there a sofa right in front of a heating vent in the living room? Is a dresser is blocking one in the bedroom? Furnishings that are directly in front of vents can make the house feel colder by blocking the flow of warm air. See if you can rearrange and allow the vents to do their job more effectively. You’ll likely find the whole house will feel warmer.