Studies show that we spend 40% more time inside during the winter than we do in the summer. There’s something about colder weather that makes many of us want to wrap up inside our warm and cozy homes. This is why you want your house to be as comfortable as possible for the cocooning season. You also need to get the work done now rather than try to fit it in around the holidays. Here are a few inventive remodeling projects to get your home cozy in time for winter.
Seal the Air Leaks
Heating and cooling your home uses up a lot of energy. Unfortunately, a lot of that heated air seeps out through cracks and gaps in your home’s envelope.
If you can seal the leaks around your windows and under doors along with adding insulation, you could reduce this airflow by a quarter. This might seem like a small thing, but it is estimated that doing this alone could reduce your total heating bill by around 10%.
One of the ways you can find these gaps is by feeling for drafts. You can also turn on the lights and step outside after sunset. This will let you see gaps around windows and doors. If you need extra insulation, add rugs, wall tapestries, or additional drapes.
Invest in HVAC Equipment Maintenance
You don’t want your heating system to go out during the winter. Invest in preventative maintenance now if you don’t want to be sorry later. Also, make sure that you replace your air filters today if you haven’t done so in a while.
The average home’s furnace and AC air filters need to be replaced every three months, but you may need to do so more often if you smoke, use the fireplace, or someone in the household has respiratory problems. You should also check the water levels in your boiler if you have one while you’re at it.
Create a Comfortable Alcove
Winter is a great time to curl up with a good book. If you’re an avid reader, now could be a great time to build yourself a nice reading nook.
You could move a stuffed chair and table to a corner near the bookcase, for instance. Or you could create one by having building contractors create an area under the staircase or in another corner of the home.
If you happen to live in the Greater Boston area, you could work with a reputable Boston Design Build team like Thomas Buckborough & Associates to create a spot for games or reading that’s removed from the main living area. They will help you whether you’ve planned a major addition to your home or want to renovate an entertainment room. They can also handle green remodeling projects among other things if this is something you also had in mind.
Install a Wood Oven or a Fireplace
There are few things more warming than a roaring fire, and few that spell winter comfort quite like a fireplace. A wood oven could also be a great option and one that would be practical as well. You could use it as a secondary heat source, or as an emergency source if the electricity goes out. It’s also a surprisingly eco-friendly source of energy and a huge winner with home buyers in cold-weather markets. This means that it could significantly increase your home’s value for a modest investment.
If you already have a fireplace, it’s never too early to prep it for winter. So, clean the ash and debris from the fireplace, and set up your fire tools and stockpile supplies. While you’re at it, decorate the mantel, and don’t forget to check the batteries in the smoke detector.
Prep Your Lawn for Spring
The best way to prepare your lawn for spring is to prep it during the late fall or early winter. For example, Bermuda grass and bluegrass should be fertilized before the first freeze of the year. So, start preparing as soon as you can.
Make sure that you mow the grass before the first freeze, too, so it won’t grow too tall. This prevents it from attracting burrowing animals seeking a warm hideout. Remove debris like toys and logs so that it doesn’t create dead spots in the grass. If you have a dead or dying tree, however, you could consider having it removed during the winter. Tree companies are competing for work during that time, but they’ll get busy when the weather warms up, so this could be your chance to make some savings.
Winter brings with it a new set of household chores, but it is also a good time for a wide range of home improvement projects. Make your home so inviting you won’t want to leave until spring.