As winter sets in – some parts of the country are in the grip of a deep freeze already – here are a few ideas to keep the inside of your home warm and comfortable.
Add area rugs. Hardwood and tile floors can make your home feel cold. Add some area rugs to provide a barrier between your feet and the floor. Use a skid-resistant backing to keep the rugs in place.
Switch the rotation direction of ceiling fans. Counter-clockwise rotation in the summer months is perfect for moving air directly down to cool a room. Most ceiling fans have two settings, counter-clockwise (for the summer months), and clockwise. By switching the direction to clockwise, the ceiling fan moves warm air to the ceiling and down the walls. Look for a small up/down switch on the side of the motor unit.
Rearrange furniture. Grouping pieces together creates a warmer feel. Instead of having furniture spread out to fill a room, group them together and/or add more pieces. Move furniture away from the windows and doors, and closer to the fireplace (if there is one) or heat vents.
Add moisture to the air. In winter, your furnace heats the air in your house and, by doing so, lowers its relative humidity. The heating process literally draws moisture out of your body, furniture and home. That makes the air dry (drier than a desert!), and therefore it feel cooler. Low humidity contributes to people getting sick and staying sick in the winter months because it provides the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. A humidifier can make a huge difference. A cool mist humidifier is safer – and usually less expensive to buy and operate – that a warm mist humidifier.
Let the sun shine in. Use the sun to warm your house during the day. Open south-facing curtains or blinds on sunny days. Make sure you close these as the sun sets.