Life in Portland

How To Safely Winterize Your Home

With the sudden weather change upon us, now is high time to secure our homes against the creeping damp & cold. We've scoured the web for the best tips on how to safely winterize your home in an eco- and thrift-conscious fashion, and hope that this will help you to be warmer, safer, and more energy efficient over the coming winter months. 

1. Draft stoppers are easy to make from whatever material scraps you already have available, or you can purchase some cool handmade ones on sites like Etsy. These make a huge difference on keeping the warm air indoors, and the cold, out.
2. Install a permanent furnace filter to keep your air clean and breathable. It might be a higher upfront cost, but will definitely save money (and waste) in the long run.
3. While on the topic of air quality, grow herbs and other plants indoors. They help to filter the air and keep the circulation clean and fresh.
4. Bake! No, seriously - it warms up the house, tastes amazing, and who doesn't love the smell of freshly baked bread? Try Mark Bittman's easy (and famous) No Knead Bread recipe.
5. While in the kitchen, make some soup to go with that bread - did you know that many soups can help keep your body temperature up? Here's a hearty, earthy lentil soup that's healthy and full of good, warming energy.
6. Keep your body warm by wearing breathable, organic fabrics (and maybe invest in some eco-friendly long johns!). One of the best parts of winter is getting cosy underneath blankets and busting out the slippers.
7. Keep the doors closed on any rooms you're not using, to effectively capture the warmth and cut back on drafts.
8. Check your insulation - you can make a significant reduction in energy expenditure over winter by investing in some green alternatives to traditional insulation, such as cellulose and spray foam.
9. It might seem like common sense, but many of us forget to reverse the direction of our ceiling fans. This pushes the hot air back down, and helps circulate it throughout the house.
10. Another simple fix - move your furniture (and pets) off the vents. Make good use of the house heat that you already have.