Fall is here and all across the country the leaves are changing as temperatures dip from their muggy summer highs. In Florida, we’ve even gotten down into the 60s already!
For the rest of the country that doesn’t live in eternal summer, it’s time to start buttoning things up to keep your old home warm this winter.
I’m going to share 4 easy tips that can make a huge difference in your heating bill this winter. Check these items off of your to do list before the end of October and they’ll pay for themselves.
Tip #1 Rope Caulk
How many of you open your windows in the dead of winter? I didn’t think so. If you don’t have any storm windows installed, now would be the time to get them ordered and installed before the super cold months hit. Check out this post!
I love my old windows more than most folks and in the winter months when they won’t be used, you should consider temporarily sealing them up with rope caulk. Even with storm windows, rope caulk is a simple and affordable way to seal up any air gaps you might have.
Rope caulk comes in rolls and you press it into place along the gap where the sash meets the trim. It air seals the window and can easily be peeled away in the spring without marking or leaving any residue. You can pick some up in my amazon store.
Tip #2 Fireplace Damper
Hopefully, your old home’s fireplace or chimney has been upgraded with a damper. If not, the time is now. A lot of older houses didn’t have a damper installed on their chimney. While this isn’t a big deal in the summer the chimney is like a super highway for hot air to escape during the winter.
Without a damper, hot air will run its way out of your house and cold air (which is heavier if you remember your 7th grade science) will sink down the chimney.
Call a chimney sweep in to get the chimney cleaned and have them install a damper while they are there. It will likely run you anywhere from $150-$400 for a new damper. Totally worth it!
Tip #3 Check the Doors
While I’d love to rope caulk, my doors too I have a feeling I’ll be needing them during the winter. So, now is the time to check the weatherstripping on them. If you’ve been toying with the idea of installing 100 yr. spring bronze now would be a good time. You can read more about weatherstripping doors in my post:
How To: Install Spring Bronze Weatherstripping
If you’re still sticking with adhesive backed foam check that it is still working. After a couple years this kind of weatherstripping gets compressed and looses its effectiveness. Replace what’s worn out and you’ll be good for another couple seasons.
Tip # 4 Tune Up the Furnace
It’s the one thing that absolutely can’t break when it gets cold. Your furnace is often neglected since it is buried in the attic or some back room like it has been a bad, bad furnace.
Bring in a pro for around $80 or do-it-yourself. Either way, get the furnace tuned up and checked out to make sure it is performing at peak efficiency.
Not only will you catch potential problems before they start, but you will have a furnace that uses less fuel and heats your house the way it was designed to.
What other energy saving tips do you have that work for you to stay warm and keep your heating bills low? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.
3 thoughts on “4 Easy Tips to Keep Your Old Home Warm This Winter”
Hi! Thanks for the article. I enjoyed this read.
This has been helpful information! My husband and I just moved somewhere where it snowed, and we didn’t know any of this information! Thank you so much for writing this article.
These are great tips! I just discovered the rope caulk this year and I can already tell it’s making a huge difference! My upstairs window used to whistle on very windy days and the other day we had huge wind gusts and I didn’t hear a peep! 🙂
Weatherstripping my doors is proving to be more difficult. It seems that none of my doors are plumb and so when I weatherstrip, the doors will no longer latch and close all the way. It’s very frustrating. Any advice?