As cold weather rolls in, you may hear your windows rattle or feel a cold breeze through your back door, even though it is closed. These are sure signs of drafts stealing your heat. If your home is drafty or not well-insulated it could cost you hundreds of dollars a year. And there are health considerations as well. Sitting in a draft does not make you sick, but you should take notice if you feel chilled. Your normal body temperature can drop after prolonged exposure to cold drafts. The elderly and those who have compromised immune systems need to protect themselves because a decrease in the body's natural temperature can lower resistance to germs.
The staff at Dynamic-Living.com has done some research on solutions and products that will help you handle drafts and stay warm at the same time.
Plug up drafty windows and doors with inexpensive insulation and draft stoppers:
If you have older windows, they might not keep the heat in very well. Plastic sheeting can be affixed over the whole window to provide a layer of insulation without blocking the light. The plastic stops drafts as well as the cold that just seeps through the window pane itself.
If you can see daylight through the edges of your doors that means they leak! You can't cover doors with plastic sheeting, but a storm door will probably pay for itself in a few heating seasons. There are also inexpensive insulation kits for doors that have foam, magnets or fleece to seal the edges and weather stripping to put along the bottom.
Draft stoppers for the base of doors and windows can be found in colorful and playful designs. You can also make your own. Sew a fabric tube and fill it loosely with dried beans or popcorn kernels. Want to recycle? Cut the sleeve off an old shirt or fill pantyhose you aren't using anymore.
If you have double hung windows, check to make sure each one is fully closed on the top and bottom. They sometimes slide down a little during the warmer months and will cause a draft if not closed properly.
Deal with drafts you can't stop:
Have you considered Feng Shui? While we don't pretend to understand the flow of energy in a room, we do understand the flow of drafts. If you feel a breeze on you while you sit in your favorite chair, consider rearranging the room. This way you can avoid drafts in the locations where you sit regularly.
Ceramic space heaters are very cost effective for heating a small area and cost much less to run than trying to heat your entire home. For safety from accidents, make sure the heater has a timer on it or you remember to unplug it when you leave the room.
If you have high ceilings and a ceiling fan that you use primarily in the summer, try using the ceiling fan when the weather is cold too. Most styles have a reverse switch on them that will push down the warmer air that collects at the ceiling.
Wear several thin layers of clothes. The warmth from your body will get trapped in the air pockets between the layers. Long underwear is particularly helpful for keeping you warm and dry.
Keep a throw blanket handy to cover your feet or shoulders. As a less bulky alternative, the Lap Wrap Shawl is a fleece shawl that is longer on the sides and shorter in the back; it's perfectly proportioned to go across your lap. Our fleece Pocket Cape will keep you snuggly because it's made of Polartec fleece, which is incredibly warm but not thick and bulky.
Slipper socks, like fleece
Moc-Socks, help keep your feet warm. Look for non-skid bottoms because they prevent slipping when you move about.
Heat from external sources can be helpful. If you use a heating pad for warmth, limit the length of time it's close to the skin to avoid a burn and always turn it off if you are sleepy.
An aromatherapy pad that is heated in the microwave and cools very slowly allows you to envelop yourself in warmth without needing to remember to turn it off if you fall asleep. The
pad is perfect for over your shoulders or across your feet.
If you have felt cold drafts in your home, these simple ideas can help keep the warm air in. Stopping drafts will not only keep your energy costs lower but will also help you stay healthy. Exposure to drafts can lower your resistance to all viruses and make you feel stiff, uncomfortable and run-down. So plug up those drafts, bundle up and increase your chances of staying healthy!
© Copyright 2006 Dynamic Living, Inc.
Dynamic Living Newsletter may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from the editor must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this newsletter.
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