Many people are under the impression that mold is a summer and spring time problem, but mold can grow during the winter months too. You can help prevent mold by keeping your home warmer and drier during the cold months. Here are some tips that will not only help to prevent mold, but will also help lower your heating bills this winter. These tips are low cost and low tech tips that will not break the bank or cause any undue stress to enact in your home this winter.
Energy loss through Windows
Even if you have the best windows available with a high energy star rating, heat loss through your windows is always an issue come winter time. One low tech, low cost way to combat this heat loss is rather simple. Buy some very thick curtains. If you dislike curtains, console yourself with the fact that come spring you can happily remove them. The thicker your curtains are, the less heat loss you will experience. You can also put up plastic over your windows, this will create a perfect seal between the cold glass and the inside of your home. You can attached it via tape or a hair dryer, depending on what type of window plastic you buy. Another option, but a more expensive one is to buy double glazed windows.
During the daytime, use the heat of the sun by keeping your curtains open. Close them at night to maximize your evening heat.
Most homes do not use these, but if your home relies on radiators for heating, you can maximize its heating value with one single item that will cost you under $4. Much heat from radiators is lost by dissipating through the wall it is in front of. To combat this heat loss, simply place aluminum foil on the wall behind the radiator. This will then reflect heat back into the room, versus it bleeding to the outside, helping to keep your home warmer, and your heating costs down.
If you have a fire place, that is functional, but you only use it for decoration, meaning that you never light fires in it, and you have a working chimney, this is a source of heat loss. To combat this you can buy a chimney balloon, which inflates inside of your chimney, just out of sight, expanding until it fills the chimney up, blocking any heat loss through the chimney. You could also opt for a woolen chimney insulator. Just always remember you have installed these if you decide all of a sudden that you now want to use the formerly unused fireplace, and remove it, lest you start a fire in your chimney.
Your outer doors
Your outer doors can be a great source of heat loss. To check this, peer down at the bottom of your door, if you can see sunlight coming from the bottom of the door, you are experiencing heat loss. The fix for this is rather simple, the hardware store sells rubber door sweeps that attach to your door and prevent this heat loss.
If you have rooms that are seldom used, consider shutting the doors to these rooms. This will help you to heat the more often used areas of your home, as well as to keep your heating costs down.
Bare floors, especially those that are poorly insulated can account for as much as 10% of your homes heat loss during the cold season. To help combat this consider using area rugs during the cold months, or if possible consider permanent carpeting over your flooring. If you see any cracks in your floor, consider applying some type of appropriate filler into these cracks, as these cracks can lead to heat loss.
These low tech and low cost methods can help to keep your home warm, your heating bills down, and help to prevent mold during the winter months.
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