Sun & Moon Home

27
Jan, 15

DIY Winter Warmth: Low Cost Warming Ideas For Your Home



 

If you are serious about keeping warm but you are also serious about keeping cost down and helping out the environment while you are at it, I have compiled a little list that may spark some ideas for you. If you have anything that you do in your home that helps keep you warm, let us know!

Windows

If you can’t get new fancy double-paned windows or like myself, you are enchanted with the original Victorian windows in your home, there are other options for you! Dead air created by double paned windows insulates the inside of your home quite efficiently but if you live in an older home, you are probably not so lucky. Single paned windows can be drafty and cost you a lot in heat loss during the winter. So here are some simple ideas for reducing heat loss through your windows.

  1. Weather sealing can really reduce a major draft though an old window and besides a few minor tools and some calking, it is really a no-cost sort of project.
  2. Store-bought insulator kits can really do the trick if you need a little more insulation on your windows for the winter. They are easy to find, cheap to buy, and easy to put on your windows.
  3. Heavy curtains can be one of the best ways ways to reduce heat loss through your windows. They have the same general effect as double-paned windows by deadening the air between the window and the curtain. Curtains with thermal lining are pretty cheap and super effective. You can also use PVC shower curtains or a fleece material for extra insulation. Keep them closed at night!
  4. Let the light in during the day though! Open those puppies up when the sun is shining to naturally warm your home with a greenhouse effect.

Other Leaks

Make sure that you go through your house thoroughly to check for other drafty leaks. Some culprits tend to be things that we don’t even think about:

  1. Like the attic hatch that you have been eyeing for years but are afraid to touch or open. Often, even when you have an awesomely insulated attic, the hatch will be made of cheap particle board or old planks, ignored and leaking the hot air you worked so hard on.
  2. You can also get a draft under your doors. Spend a tiny amount door sweepof money on a door sweep. This small and inexpensive change will make a huge difference. And I’ve even seen ones with eye-catching patterns for the more style conscious 😉.
  3. Look at the pet doors, make sure that they are quality and seal correctly. Make sure they aren’t flapping around in the wind or getting stuck open when Fido runs out for a jaunt in the yard.
  4. Unused fireplaces can be a big heat suckers. Make sure your flue is closed tightly and consider buying a relatively cheap OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchimney balloon to seal it even better. I know they seem a little silly but they are great for insulating that big hole in your house. If you do use your fireplace, an efficient stove will really make the difference.
  5. Area rugs in a home with hardwood can really reduce heat loss through the floors. Many floors are poorly insulated and this is an easy way to reduce heat loss by up to 10%, according to the National Energy Foundation.

Your Heaters and Other Appliances       

  1. If you have a forced air furnace, it is really important to make sure that you replace your filters as recommended. This can increase your heating efficiency by 5% and reduce the incidence of your furnace breaking down.
  2. Radiators are great to heat a room but it is difficult to direct the heat away from heat-sucking walls. Try putting foil behind the radiator, to direct the heat toward the room rather than radiating into a wall.
  3. Ceiling fans are thought to only be useful for cooling the air but many newer fans have a “winter” setting. A slow, clock-wise spinning fan can move the warm rising air back down to the lower areas of the room. This is especially useful for vaulted or high ceilings.
  4. Run your bathroom or stove vents sparingly! It is important to keep air flowing out of your bathroom to prevent mold but make sure that you don’t over-run them. This goes for your stove vent as well.
  5. Cooking can be a “two-birds-one-stone” sort of benefit in the winter. I like to bake a lot to keep the house comfortable with yummy food and it also has a secondary warming effect.
  6. Programmable Thermostats have many benefits. There are great ones on the market that learn your patterns and help you remember to turn them down or off. You can even contact some by phone if you have left your house and forgot to turn the heat off! Make sure that your thermostat is programmed to turn on and off within a space of 1-1.5 degrees rather than within .5 degrees, which can waste a lot of energy by turning on and off more frequently. url

Other Warm Advice

I have heard people say, “Heat the person, not the house.” True that. Gather some great slippers, warm flannel sheets, and a wonderful down blanket. Shut your unused rooms and cuddle up together for the winter!

If you need more information about saving energy, go to the U.S. Department of Energy for more information and tips on how to save money and make a difference.

Let us know if you have techniques for keeping your home warm on a budget!



 

Read more 2 Comments

20
Jan, 15

A New Win for California



“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” -F.D.R.


In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed in Senate Bill 1019, to require labeling of all upholstered furniture indicating if the product contains toxic flame retardant chemicals.

Wooho! Thank you very much, Jerry Brown 🙂

Flame resistance regulations were set forth with the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA)
Title 15 beginning in 1953 but there hasn’t been a lot of regulation regarding the lobby-heavy chemical companies that benefit from the use of harmful chemicals used to keep our furniture from catching on fire.

upholstery2

We have all been told about these chemicals – good and bad. We’ve been told about off-gassing and that they are thought to be extremely toxic. But we’ve also been told that they could save our lives. With all of these things that we are told, it is nice to now be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not we will expose our children, our pets, or in the tragic event of a fire, even our firefighters.

The California bill states, “Existing state law establishes a standard to produce upholstered furniture which is safer from the hazards associated with smoldering ignition. This standard provides methods for smolder resistance of cover fabrics, barrier materials, resilient filling materials, and decking materials for use in upholstered furniture.”

Many upholstery and furniture manufacturers use harmful chemicals to reach smoldering and fire ignition standards instead of concentrating on equally effective physical barrier tactics that are possible in the manufacturing process. Any furniture sold to a consumer must meet federal flame resistant standards, with or without chemical retardants. It may be easier for our manufacturing friends to just throw some chemicals into our furniture rather than having to sit and think a little harder about how to keep their consumers safe and healthy when relaxing on the couch.

imagesThere are real and measurable effects on health in our country correlated with the use of and exposure to these chemicals. Women with higher levels of flame retardants in their blood have trouble conceiving and have smaller babies. Children exposed in the womb are shown to later have learning and attention problems, even lower IQs. Other studies have linked flame retardants to cancer, male infertility,  male birth defects, and early puberty in girls.

I am just glad to be informed and I really hope that you do too!

I would love to hear from you guys! What do you think about this bill, the flame resistance laws, and about these chemicals used in our furniture?

-Danielle Sanger @ Sun & Moon Home LLC.


The Bill:

Original Flammability Laws:

A Few Good Studies:



 

Read more Comment

Products