Jan 9, 2013

Long term warmth for your home.

Throughout the year, people consider upgrades and remodels. Add these items to your plans for long-term energy savings that provide much-needed warmth and function in cold weather.

 Install radiant heat mats under floors. Cut your heating bills down and wake up to warm tile and wood flooring with an added bonus of warming the air as well. Cold showers? Add a UL approved mat or cable system to your shower floor or walls. Nu Heat manufactures low voltage off-the-shelf or custom sized mats that are simple to install. (I did!)

Consider an electric towel warmer. A quick addition to a bathroom is a free-standing or wall-mounted towel warmer that you can drape a robe (socks, undies...!) over as well. They add a bit of radiant warmth to the bathroom as well.

Place key lights on timers.  With darkness descending early, come home to a lighted home by adding wall or plug-in timers to lights that guide you through the door and inside your house. Two great benefits (a) you can save energy and decrease lighting bills and (b) gain security when you aren't home and the house appears occupied.  Change those incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) for added energy savings and no guilt about leaving the lights on - with 7 watt CFL's taking the place of 40 watts.

Try a bio-fuel fireplace. For small or large spaces, indoors and outdoors,  these fireplaces can be free standing or installed in a wall in just a few hours.  They warm rooms visually and functionally with style and safety...and are eco-friendly and allergy free.

Warm your floors with area rugs.  If you love wood floors but hate the coldness in winter, this is a simple solution. Add area rugs or runners where you will stand, walk or sit. You can roll them up seasonally or select those that are ideal for year-round use.
Hang panel drapes. Panels are ideal to help with drafty windows when replacing isn't an option. It is  a room-warming option even if you already have blinds. The added layer can be stylish, softening, and practical. Have sheers? Replace them with a heavier fabric just for winter.