Tips to Keep Your Deck from Losing Heat this Winter
Watching snowflakes fall from the sky while you sip on hot chocolate and cuddle with a blanket is one of the best ways for Northerners to enjoy the winter season. And believe it or not, the southern states can also receive some colder weather during the winter season too. But whether you live in the north or south, one of the best rooms to enjoy the changes of seasons in are a covered, screened-in deck.
One of the best ways to make the most of your backyard is to screen-in your deck. Not only will this prevent pesky bugs, heat-waves, and downpours but by covering your deck, you actually make it a year-round livable space. While adding a screen to your deck is not the cheapest, it will definitely increase your homes’ value. Appraisers say that if you stay in your home for at least 5 years after you install a screened-in deck, your return on investment will be around 70%. Screened-in decks also help make your home sell faster. While all these are positive reasons for you to screen-in your deck, many face the issue of cold winter weather. However, this year, fear not, as you will be able enjoy your screened-in deck even more as the below tips will help you to keep from worrying about those skyrocketing electric bills due to heat loss.
Covering Leaking Doors
Not covering leaky windows and doors is a mistake that is very common among northerners. Doors that are not sealed properly tend to leak and let cold air in. Good news is that there is a quick, inexpensive fix. Try covering your deck windows and doors with a clear plastic sheet. These indoor insulator kits cover up to five windows and doors and are virtually sold anywhere for around $20.
Insulate Outlets and Wall Switches
There is very little insulation behind your outlets and wall switches which causes cold air to leak in. By removing the cover plates, placing a piece of foam insulation ($2 for ten pieces) over the hole, and replacing the cover will help to reduce the amount of heat lost from your screened-in deck.
Do not be alarmed with the word holes. These “holes” in your exterior walls and floors are for plumbing pipes, vents, and electrical conduits – and worry not, as every home has them. While these holes do serve a good purpose as 21st century plumbing is always a good thing, they, unfortunately, can let the freezing winter air in thus making you turn up the heat which raises your electric bill. The solution is quite simple. All you have to do is fill the gaps and holes with sealant, which is roughly sold for around $10.
While filling holes with sealant, it is also a good idea to check for any loose or cracked caulk that exposes to the outdoors. With the use of a putty knife or scraper, remove the old caulk, then seal around with the appropriate weatherproofing caulk recommended for the specific material that was used.
Another item to note under this same category is door seals. Even with plenty of caulking, cold air can still leak in if the weather strip is worn out. All you have to do is pull off the old strip and nail or staple down a new one. Weather strips can be found at any hardware store for as cheap as $2.50 per 10 feet.
While most people are terrified about thermostats, it can actually be your friend most of the time. Adjusting the indoor temperature when you are away from your home for more than four hours or even at night will definitely help to save you a few dollars on your bills. Making this part of your nightly routine will definitely make you feel at ease over the long run. Afraid that you will forget? There are programmable thermostats starting at around $250. While this investment may seem like a lot right now, over the years you will be glad that you made the investment.
From tiles to carpet to wood, there are many different types of flooring to choose for your screened-in deck. And whether you are just building your deck or are revamping your current one, the type of floor you choose can help to insulate and prevent high electric bills. Opting for indoor/outdoor carpet, which can start at $0.34 per square foot, is the best way to go. Not only does carpet feel nicer and warmer to bare feet but it is actually a natural insulator and will bring warmth during those colder months.
And now, the enjoyment of the impending cold winter weather can be savored and enjoyed with less stress and worry about the high cost of electric bills.