Keep Your Home Warm and Cozy This Winter

Omaha has gotten more than its fair share of freezing temps, snow, and ice this winter. Our home improvement team assembled some simple – but sometimes overlooked – tips to help you keep your home cozy until signs of spring emerge.

Control your air flow

  • When it’s frigid outside, make sure your home’s warm air stays inside. Weather stripping and caulking are relatively low-cost and effective at sealing up spaces where your house’s heat may be escaping. Check doors, windows, vents, pipe openings, attic access points, and along floorboards.

  • Those stunningly long and treacherous icicles can be a sign of ice dams on your roof. Ice dams are created when heat escapes from a house and warms the roof, melting snow that later refreezes creating an ice ridge – or ice dam – that traps water. These can lead to serious leaks. As a word of caution, chipping away at ice dams can damage your roof and be dangerous. Consider getting a snow rake to brush away accumulated snow. If you experience serious ice dams, it may be time to consult a roofer. Making sure gutters and downspouts are clear is a good preventative technique; proper attic insulation and ventilation are also important.

  • If you have an attached garage, keep the door closed to minimize heat loss from the door leading to your house.

  • Close the flue on fireplaces when not in use to prevent warm air from being drawn out through the chimney. As a safety reminder, make sure the flue is open before starting a fire, and always monitor fires and space heaters.

Home decor can help

  • Open shades, curtains, and blinds when the sun is out to bring in free heat from the rays. When it’s dark, keep window coverings closed to provide additional insulation for rooms.

  • Check the placement of furniture and rugs to make sure they aren’t blocking air flow from heat vents and returns.

  • Decorate tile, wood, linoleum, and other hard-surfaced floors with rugs to create a barrier between these typically colder surfaces and your feet.

Check out Omaha’s Habitat ReStore locations for home fixtures at a fraction of the retail cost. All net proceeds support Habitat Omaha’s work to build a stronger community.