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How to Insulate Your Home in the Winter

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In the winter, you want to minimize heat loss as much as possible. Read on for easy ways to insulate your home in the winter--you'll save money on your energy bill and stay warm and toasty all season long.

Tin foil

It's not just for your leftovers. An easy way to prevent heat from escaping through your walls is to tape a layer of heat reflective aluminum foil behind your radiators. The heat will reflect back into the room instead of through the walls and out of your home. Use a good quality kitchen foil or buy foil specifically made for this at your home improvement store.

Thick curtains

Heat escapes through your windows, but installing curtains with a thermal lining will help keep that heat inside where it belongs. The thicker the better when it comes to shopping for thermal curtains.

Dodge drafts

Drafts can waste up to a third of your energy use. Walk around your home and check each door and window and feel for drafts. If you feel a breeze coming from under the door, make your own draft blocker by rolling up a bath towel or sew your own out of any fabric scraps and fill it with sand for some weight.

Change your filters

Furnace filters should be cleaned frequently during the heating season. They can easily become gunked up resulting in less air flow causing you to turn up your thermostat. To make sure you're not cranking up the heat, check (and change) your furnace filter each month. An even better option is to switch to a permanent filter to reduce waste and hassle.

Ceiling fans

Did you know that your ceiling fan has two different modes? The switch direction will be different for each model and brand but generally speaking, one mode spins the fan blades counterclockwise to produce a cooling breeze. The other mode spins the fan blades clockwise to make it warmer by circulating the heated air pooled near the ceiling (heat rises) around the rest of the room.

Storm doors and windows

If you don't already have storm doors and windows installed in your home, it's optimal to take care of it before the winter starts. By installing a storm door you increase your home's energy efficiency, seal drafts and reduce air flow. Look for Energy Star rated models if you go shopping.

Window plastic

For a few dollars, you can buy a window insulation kit at your local hardware store. Essentially, you're creating a buffer against drafts entering your home and that extra space can increase your home's ability to hold onto the heat a bit longer. Don't worry, when installed correctly, the plastic sheeting is nearly invisible.

Caulking and weatherstripping

Leaks and drafts suck the efficiency out of your home more than you think. Look around you home anywhere where two building materials meet -- corners, windows, chimneys and caulk or weatherstrip around the frame. If you're not sure if air is escaping try this simple test. Take a piece of burning incense and very carefully, hold it up to where you suspect might be a leak. If you see the smoke sneaking out, you'll know where your leak is.

Bulk up your insulation

Adding more insulation to areas of your home is the best way to save money and keep your home energy efficient. Focus on areas where you know heat is escaping like your attic walls, attic door and basement ceiling. You can also consider adding more insulation in between walls and around windows and doors.

With these easy steps, you can make sure that your home is properly insulated this winter so you'll stay nice and toasty.

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on November 6, 2014

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