Easy DIY Projects to Make Your Home Cozier This Winter

by Jonathan DeesingNovember 15, 2017

If this year’s winter is anywhere near as harsh as this year’s summer, we’re in for a doozy. And when brutal weather hits you never want to find yourself without a warm, cozy home to turn to. But what if you can’t afford new energy efficient windows or a fancy smart thermostat?

Your mom would probably tell you to “put on a sweater,” but I have a few more ideas. Check out these quick, do-it-yourself projects that will make your home much more delightful when the weather gets frightful.

Stop the Leaks

The most energy efficient doors and windows in the world aren’t worth anything if they have bad seals. Seals and caulking on windows and doorjambs can start to crack after a few years, especially if they’re exposed to a lot of weather. When this happens, your home loses heat and can get drafty.

Luckily, fixing seals is cheap and easy – simply remove old seals with a razor blade and clean up the area, then apply caulk.

Try Warmer Colors

A fresh coat of paint isn’t going to make your house warmer. But it could make it feel warmer. Instead of drab white or dull gray, warm earth tones or even distressed colors can make a house much cozier. If you don’t feel like tackling a huge paint job, just adding an accent wall or a new trim color can add a splash of color and get you through a dark winter.

Still too much work? Changing the light is much easier than painting. Lighting that’s too harsh or too soft can make rooms feel unwelcoming, so make sure you have the right types of light bulbs in the right rooms.

Get Your Rug On

Homes can lose anywhere between 10-15% of heat through the floors, which in the winter can add up fast. One of the quickest ways to warm up your floors is with well-placed rugs. Look for big area rugs with a high stitch count, as they will provide the most insulation. The more bare floor you can cover, the better.

Invest in Insulation

Sometimes rugs just won’t cut it. If you live over a crawlspace, an area rug won’t prevent your home from bleeding heat through the floor. That’s where insulation can help. Installing rolled insulation between studs in the floor is fairly easy and will keep your floor (and toes!) warmer this winter.

Likewise, insulating an attic can have a huge impact on your energy bill. Because heat rises, homes lose far more heat through the roof than through the floor, so when you’re looking to install insulation, start at the top and work down. The good news is that while it may be the most expensive item on this list, attic insulation has the best return on investment of any home improvement.

Help Your Radiators Radiate More

One of the silliest ways to waste energy and heat is by sending it right into a wall. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what radiators sitting next to a wall do. One solution is to buy a radiator reflector, which is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. But all you really need is some heavy-duty aluminum foil and a way to affix it behind your radiator like double-sided tape. Don’t forget to put the shiny side facing the radiator for best results.

Staying warm as you venture outside in winter can be hard, but there’s no reason why your home can’t be cozy all season. And if these tips don’t work, you can always take your mom’s advice and just put on a sweater!

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About The Author
Jonathan Deesing
Jonathan Deesing is a home improvement and real estate writer who has written for Auction.com, Modernize, and Apartment Guide. When he's not fixing up his duplex he splits time between running and beekeeping.