As the cost of heating continues to rise, so has the awareness of just how much energy is seeping out of homes. Can we continue to enjoy the comforts of a warm home in an age when it is imperative that we consider energy issues first?
Weatherization protects a home's interior from the elements with the hopes of reducing energy consumption and efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that weatherization can reduce heating bills by 32% and overall energy bills by $358 per year.
WATCH VIDEO: Home Energy Audit
Whether you live in an old home that has stood the test of time, or a newer, more energy-efficient one, bring in extra warmth without breaking the bank, sacrificing style, or putting the planet at risk.
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: It is the time for home." ~ Edith Sitwell
Room By Room DIY or BUY Solutions for a Warmer Home
Try some of these interior design solutions for keeping your home warm and cozy all winter long. It's your choice - DIY or BUY!
Add an insulated blanket of drapes or curtains to your windows with a barrier that keeps the cold out and the heat in.
DIY: Make your own insulated curtains. Try using a material such as hemp that will resist mold and also has a natural design appeal.
BUY: These neutral linen energy-saving drapes from Gaiam warms up any décor.
Plate warmers keep food warm by serving. Or, warm the plates and serve straight onto them from the oven.
DIY: Here is how to keep plates warm before serving food.
BUY: Just as stones in nature remain warm long after the sun goes down, the compressed density of these Dining Stones keep plates warmer longer.
Visual and tactile texture makes a room more interesting and literally warmer. Hanging tapestries or wood paneling for insulating purposes, conserves more energy and warmth than bare walls or wallpaper.
Pre-heat the bed and you won't have to turn up the heat. Hot-water bottles get the job done.
BUY: A natural rubber hot-water bottle with a cotton flannel cover from the Vermont Company Store.
While you are cutting down on water and energy consumption, add a thick, cozy (and washable) area rug to warm up those chilly floors.
DIY: Here are 5 DIY rugs to keep your toes warm.
BUY: Organic linen, hemp or cotton are fine natural fabrics for moist bathroom mats.
Stairways get a lot of foot traffic. In winter, it's nice to be able to paddle barefoot to an upstairs bedroom on a soft, warm surface.
DIY: To warm up stairs there is no need to have custom rugs made for these narrow spaces. A rectangular area rug can be cut into strips and measured to the correct width. The strips can be bound (most carpet stores offer this service) and then attached end-to-end to create a single piece. Or, use old Kilim rug remnants, or grain sacks.
The doorways and entrance halls are drafty. Stave off the chill from doorways with draft blockers. This is especially useful at night when it is colder and folks are not coming in and out as often.
DIY: Follow these step-by-step directions to make a Draft Stopper.
BUY: Here is an inexpensive Draft Stopper.php that does double duty on both sides of the door.
See what Preservation Magazine has to say about weatherizing your home for winter:
Watch Video: Greenovate: Save 40% on energy bills.