With winter here it’s time to prepare for the coldest months—January and February.
This year try felt weatherstrips around your doors. You can get the felt online from Loews for only $2.57 a roll. Do remember you’ll need to replace reinforced felt every year or two. If you want more durability, install tension strips. They are formed in a V shape and work by compressing when the door or window closes on them. It’s well worth checking all your windows and door since a quarter inch gap in a 36-inch door is equivalent to a 9 square inch hole in the wall!
Don’t forget under the door. The easiest and least expensive fix is a door sweep that come with retractable sweeps that raise automatically when the door opens. Door shoes, because they are attached to the bottom of the door, have the advantage of longer life. Again, you can get these online from Amazon.com or Loews.
While your winterizing your doors and windows, also invest in a cast-iron humidifier. You can get a dandy one from lehmans.com. A home that has some humidity will feel warmer at only 68 degrees than a home that is the same temp but dry. A cast-iron tea kettle will work on wood stoves.
You can also make a door snake from old jeans or any old fabric. Just sew up a tube on three sides (make it about 3’ by 6”). Turn it so the seams are on the inside. Now stuff with any soft material—this can be sand, more fabric, an old pillow stuffing, or even wood shavings. Sew up the final end and lay in by the door to block drafts. These also work on window sills.
Now may also be the time to install some solar panels that can either power your hot water heater directly or give you some extra power at home for heating. Solar has never been cheaper, and you can get a solar power system, including an inverter at Amazon.com for between $800 and $3,000 dollars. (Just do a search for “solar power system” and pick the system that’s right for your needs and pocketbook.)
You can also invest in some thermal curtains—these are curtains lined with materials that will help keep the heat inside your house in the winter and outside your house in the summer.
Finally, invest in some good, wool socks to help keep you warm in the winter. People Socks are made in the US from merino wool and come in four packs for about $30 from Amazon.com.