Cold-Weather Home Hacks: Taking DIY to the Next Level

by Alex ThatcherApril 12, 2018

5 Cheap Hacks to Get You Through Winter Into Spring

Winter’s grip is hard to break, and this year has been no different. With many areas being blanketed by snow, holding out against the creeping chill is getting more and more challenging, especially for those who can’t afford the expensive repairs necessary for getting their homes more insulated.

Luckily, there are several affordable hacks that any homeowner can do to help improve their comfort this winter and into spring. Here are five easy cold-weather hacks that will help get you through to the next season, where warmth and summer sun is right around the corner.
keeping warm in winter

#1: Insulate Your Windows With Bubble Wrap

A home’s windows are often one of the most common ways that warm air leaks out. This is especially the case with older, single-pane windows. The problem is, it costs several thousands of dollars to replace old windows with newer, better insulated ones. But, did you know you can insulate your old windows with just a roll of bubble wrap and a spray bottle filled with water?

The first thing you should do is replace any missing or cracked pieces of caulk around the window. Then, cut out a piece of bubble wrap to the exact dimensions of your window. Spray a mist of water on the window and stick the bubble wrap in place and lower your blinds. The bubble wrap will remain in place all winter long and provide an extra layer of insulation over your windows.

#2: Build a DIY Space Heater

Space heaters can be expensive, and they use a lot of electricity. But, what if you can’t afford one or your power goes out? You can create a DIY space heater that actually works. All you need are a few tea light candles, a terra cotta pot, and a metal cake pan.

Just place eight tea light candles inside the pan and light them. Then, place the pot over the candles with the rim of the pot resting on the lip of the pan so oxygen can get in to the candles. Place a candle over the hole in the pot.
keeping warm in winter

#3: Cheap and Safe DIY Alternative for Icy Steps and Walkways

Over the course of an icy winter, you may go through several bags of de-icing solution for your steps and walkways. Unfortunately, these products aren’t just expensive, they can also be harmful to your concrete and grass.

Did you know that you can get the same results with a few ingredients that are probably already in your home? A simple mixture of one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, one teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing detergent, and a half-gallon of hot water is all it takes to get rid of the ice on your steps and walkways quickly and easily. And, it won’t refreeze!

#4: Ice-Proof Your Car Windows and Locks

Before an ice storm or heavy snow arrives, mist your car windows and locks with a 3:1 mix of distilled vinegar and water. This simple solution will prevent troublesome ice from forming over your windows and locks. You can even spray it on snow-covered parts of your car to melt the snow away.
keeping warm in winter

#5: Insulate Your Basement Yourself

If you have an unfinished basement, then this is a major source of heat loss. But, paying a contractor to finish your basement will cost you more than you might want to pay. Luckily, insulating your basement doesn’t have to be expensive if you do it yourself, and it’s easier than you might think.

Even if you can’t finish the basement fully with drywall and lighting, insulating it with board insulation will go a long way toward making your home more comfortable in winter. Once it’s insulated, you can finish it at your leisure. Best of all, the finished basement, when completed, will add value to your home!

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.