We’ve had great weather the last few days, in the 40s & 50s, but it is starting to cool down again. Thought I’ll tell you a story from last week when our region and almost the entire US was under the siege of the polar vortex.
We live in a new home (3.5 years old to be exact) with energy efficient windows and appliances, which by the way are my favorite things about new construction. Our previous home was a 30 year old town home, a star of the 80’s in all its original glory, complete with a 30 year old furnace, water heater, old windows, and poorly insulated garage that made the bedroom over it totally useless in the winter. One of the first things we noticed after moving into our current home (apart from the considerably lower VA taxes) was our energy bill. The cost to heat up our current home, which is almost 3 times bigger was only half of what we had paid on the old house!
What I’m getting at is that this house doesn’t have any problems
yet. Thank God for that! So it was extremely puzzling when our thermostat was displaying this for an entire day.
Irrespective of how much we cranked up the thermostat our main floor stayed at 65° F. Of course the picture is doctored, as usual I forgot to take pics during the episode. The top floor and basement were warming up but not the main floor. We could hear the heater running the whole time. Oh, we have a single unit by the way.
B went around inspecting every inch of space on the floor concluding that it could be due to two things;
- The open floor plan and windows on literally every wall made it hard to retain the heat.
- Some of the windows were a little drafty.
Off he went to Target to buy weather strips and tried his best to weatherproof the windows. M…Mmmm nothing the thermostat wouldn’t budge. We spent the night looking up numbers of our local furnace techs making a note to call one the next day. True to what they say, “Great ideas come to you either just before you go to bed or just after you wake up”, next morning B had the brain wave of the year, “It’s the furnace filter! I haven’t changed it in months!” and ran down to the basement.
Yup, that was the culprit! A quick trip to our local Harris Teeter (the neighborhood supermarket) and a new filter later the thermostat was back to where it was supposed to be!
I know this is a little different kinda post from what I usually share but just wanted to give y’all a heads up to tick off all your boxes when it comes to keeping your house warm this winter. Depending on how drafty your home is you’d need to;
- Change the furnace filter. It is recommended to change it every month.
- Weather-strip your doors
- Use a window insulation kit
- Seal baseboards and caulk windows
You could also cut down your energy bills by;
- Letting the sun in during the mornings and using black out curtains or curtains with thermal backing when it is dark.
- Keeping the doors to unused rooms closed.
- Upgrading to a newer thermostat.
- Using Magnetic Vent Covers to cover the unused air vents. We used vent covers like these in our old home all the time as the vents wouldn’t close properly.
Do you have any house heating stories? How is weather like in your neck of the woods?