How long can you stand to wait until you turn the heat on in the winter? Especially in older Vancouver homes, the drafts and chills can balloon your heating bill. Did you inherit your parents' penchant for sweaters and socks, before turning up the thermostat?
Better insulation in your home can help ease your BC Hydro bill, make your home more energy efficient, and keep you from turning into your dad (at least in this regard -- you're on your own for the rest).
Here are some simple (but effective) tips for insulating older houses and keeping your home a little warmer this winter:
1. Caulk Gaps While Insulating Older Houses
A surprising amount of heat can be lost from the small spaces around your outlets. Remove the outlet covers from your wall and fill in any gaps between the box and the drywall. Use caulk or foam from the home improvement store. Let it dry and then trim off the excess before replacing the outlet covers.
If working on ceiling boxes, make sure to use intumescent foam. This has the added benefit of stopping fires from spreading because it expands when heated.
2. Homemade Pipe Sweaters
If you're feeling cold in your house, chances are, so are your pipes! Luckily, there's a simple and inexpensive way to stave off a damaging leak.
Visit your dollar store or a thrift store and grab some potholders. The square kind work best for insulating the pipes underneath your kitchen or bathroom sink. These are especially important if the sink is on an outside wall.
Use hot glue or a sewing machine to attach Velcro to the edges, so that you can wrap the potholder around a pipe and hold it. If you can find it, peel-and-stick Velcro will make this quick fix even more simple.
Another fast hack to prevent the pipes from freezing on extra cold nights is to open the kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors below the sink. This allows the heat from the house to warm the frost-prone piping.
3. Plastic Window Seals
The big windows found in old home are amazing during summer, letting the rays of sunshine our in. but come winter, they unfortunately let the cold pour through just as well.
Even a thin layer of plastic can make a huge difference in stopping the river of chill. Especially in parts of the home that were added later, where insulation can be lacking. Visit your home improvement store to find rolls of weatherproofing plastic for your windows.
Peel the back off the sticker and stick the plastic all the way around your window, between the curtain and the glass. Seal it well, and then use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic and create a tighter seal.
4. Under Door Draft Stoppers
If your grandma was a seamstress, you may remember an iconic project she used to make. Whether in the shape of a snowman, a cat, or another funny animal, an under door draft stopper goes at the base of a door to keep the breeze out.
Close the door and place the stopper on the floor, snug against the door. It should block the whole draft and help insulate your entryway.
If you can't commission granny to make one for you, check out your local thrift store, or try to DIY. They're are also available online if you don't have access to a homemade one.
Sometimes potholders around pipes, plastic over windows, caulk, and draft stoppers won't cut it. You're still freezing, despite these nifty winter homeowner hacks.
It's possible the only answer is to insulate older houses. Weatherstripping under doors, insulating floors, walls, and windows in home additions and other projects will winterize your home and keep you toasty warm.
Using a professional service can help ensure the job's done right. Get a free quote for these important winter home upgrades when you contact us today.