Scott Ingram
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Ways to Stay Warmer in Your New House this Winter

If your goal is stay warm in your new house this winter, here are some tips that will help you without forcing you to turn your thermostat up and create higher energy bills.

1. Check Your Windows

Windows have the potential to be one of the biggest problem areas for heat loss in your house. With a new home, perhaps you got some really great windows that have no concerns. But if you are feeling cold air near then, you can improve the situation quite simply without spending very much money.

All you have to do is cover your windows with plastic window film. This plastic film is crystal clear but it creates an air barrier between your window and the room. There are a variety of options all created with the goal of sealing and insulating your windows during the colder months.

You can get window insulation kits, which include the plastic and adhesive tape in enough quantity to cover several windows for less than $20. By covering your windows like this, you can stop any drafts which might otherwise get through. Often, the amount of money you can save on your heating bill can easily cover the cost of the insulation kits.

2. Stop Door Drafts

Besides your windows, doors can be drafty too. If air can move freely under your doors, there's the potential for cold air to move in and warm air to move out. Depending on the door, the amount of air movement can be rather significant.

No worries. This is another problem that can be easily fixed. Simply purchase draft guards, that fit under your doors. Typically, this draft protection will cost in the neighborhood of $10-$20, and they are easy to install... Just open your door and slide the draft guard into place under the door.

3. Let the Sunlight in During the Day

Even if you use a window insulating kit, natural sunlight can come through your windows during the day and provide extra heat and light. And that's a good idea. When the sun is shining, try to capture as much free solar heat as possible. Even on the coldest of days, the sun is still warm and can add warmth to a room.

So before you head out for the day, make sure your curtains or blinds are open so the sun can shine through your windows. Of course, if there are rooms in your house that do not get sunlight, you can leave the shades closed. Doing so provides a little extra insulation.

4. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

If you have ceiling fans in your new house, they can be as useful in the winter as they are in the summer, especially if you have high ceilings.

Check to see if your fans have a switch to reverse the fan spin direction. If so, doing this changes the direction of air flow. When set to normal, the fan is spinning counterclockwise. This helps to cool the room. When you flip the switch, the fan will spin clockwise, thus recirculating the warm air that is otherwise trapped at the ceiling. This can help to reduce your heating bill by a significant amount. Though keep the speed low otherwise you will feel cooler because of the air movement.

5. Keep Furniture Away from Heating Vents

Since your house is new, you might have inadvertently put some of your furniture in front of, or over, your heating vents or cold air return vents. It's a good idea to check each room to make sure that none of your vents are blocked. If you find any that are blocked, try to rearrange the furniture. You'll get more warm air and put less strain on your furnace.

6. Use Your Kitchen

Many new houses come with nice kitchens, and your might have filled it with brand new appliances. Time to put the oven to work! When you bake or broil the oven is producing a lot of heat which overflows into the kitchen and surrounding rooms. As the temperatures drop, stay home and cook. You'll save money on food while also reducing the work of your furnace.

If you use the six tips above, you can stay toasty warm and keep your heating bill under control this winter. 

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With over 50 years of real estate experience in the Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin area, SCI Real Estate offers a full range of services that range from quality residential home building to large commercial developments.