T-t-t-ime To In-n-n-sulate
S-s-s-sorry this sentence is so h-h-h-hard to read. But it is so c-c-c-cold here today that my k-k-k-eyboard is shiv-v-v-ering.
I'm not kidding. It's a serious Vermontsicle out there. The thermometer read minus 20 this morning, and I got frostbite just looking at it. It's so cold that my wife's hot morning cup of Earl Gray was iced tea by the time she got it to the car, and my daughter has started to learn Inuit. The dog froze solid when we let her out and probably won't need to be walked again until April. And we can shut off the ice machine because now we just chip whatever we need off the inside of our windows.
When it's this frigid, insulation and BTUs are all that stand between you and life as a penguin. The good news is that there are a bunch of simple and inexpensive but highly effective ways to keep the arctic out:
- If you have older and/or leaky windows, look into buying plastic sheeting window insulating kits. They're easy to use and a worthwhile way to freeze out drafts throughout the house.
- Roll up old bath towels and press them against the base of entrance doors to block air leaks. Or buy or make a stuffed "draft snake" which does the same thing but looks prettier.
- Seal your unused outlets with inexpensive plastic plugs from the hardware store.
- Keep your curtains and blinds closed except for those facing the sun. These should be opened during the day to let in solar heat.
- If you have a reversible ceiling fan, run it clockwise to circulate warm air.
- Check your heat vents and radiators for obstructions and make sure that heat is flowing freely.
- Close off unused rooms so there's more heat in your living spaces and less places for drafts to occur.
- Cover bare floors with area rugs to keep cold out from underfoot.
- Make sweaters your new best friend, and don't be shy about wearing a hat around the house. Drink hot drinks, and warm yourself from the inside out.