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Summer’s winding down and fall is edging closer by the minute. Pretty soon the days will be short and nights will be long, and if last winter’s onslaught of “polar vortexes” is any indication, this winter could be a doozy. Heating bills are always a pain to pay and one of your biggest weak spots for heat to leak out are you’re windows. Even when they’re closed they still allow some heat to escape. It’s pennies a day but it adds up quickly. Fortunately there are a few home remedies you can employ to stop leakage and keep your home cozy, warm, and cheap.
Most windows in young homes are already insulated but there’s always more you can do. One easy solution is to tape bubble wrap over the windows. Yes, it obscures the view, so this is a better option for windows you don’t always need to see out of. Luckily, it does let a good amount of light in so you won’t feel like you’re living in a cave. It’s also easily removed and reinstalled in case you have guests over or you just want to keep certain rooms extra toasty for the night.
You want big bubbles on your bubble wrap. They hold more air and thus insulate better. You don’t need to tape them to the pane or sides, just cut them into the appropriate shape for the window. Spray a little water on the window and push it against the glass with the bubbles facing the window. Be careful not to pop too many bubbles. It should stick in place and hold there for days if not weeks. If it won’t stick for some reason, then you can apply a little double sided tape on the glass or some electrical tape on the sides. It’s a cheap and easy way to shave a few bucks off your heating bill every month, especially if you reuse the bubble wrap.
Sometimes a window or door is going to fit poorly in its frame and let in drafts. This is never a good thing. Cold air coming in means warm air is getting out. A boat can’t float if it has a leak. If you’re sick of stuffing bath towels under the door you can try your hand at making a “draft snake”. It’s a small tube of fabric that you fill with dried rice for extra insulation. You can also use a long tube sock if you’ve got one to spare, though the resulting product shouldn’t be much wider than the hole you make with your thumb and forefinger. Sew it up and use it on windows or doors. Believe it or not, rice is an excellent insulator. Feathers or pillow stuffing can also work in a pinch. Stuff it into the doorframe or window sill and watch the drafts disappear.
So there you have it. Try these quick, easy tips for insulation and you’ll stay warm and dry all winter, at a minimum of cost.