5 Reasons Why Your House Is So Cold

Cold couple sitting near radiator, bundled up and trying to get warm
If you’re bundling up and sitting close to the heater, you need to winterize your home. (DepositPhotos)

Imagine this: You feel a chill and set the thermostat to stay nice and toasty. You then curl up on the couch and turn on the TV.

But even with the heater cranked up, the room doesn’t seem to get any warmer.

You reach for a blanket, but still feel cold; it’s just not comfortable and now you can’t even concentrate on the movie because you’re worried about why your home’s so cold and how this will affect your electric bill.

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t have to imagine any of this. It’s a reality, every fall and winter, like clockwork.

Fortunately, you don’t have to freeze — you just have to know why it’s so cold in there, and take steps to correct the situation.

Here are 5 reasons why your home is cold.

Danny Lipford caulks around the windows outside a home.
There are a few things every homeowner should do before the weather turns cold, and one of them is caulking the exterior’s gaps and cracks.

1. Cold Air is Leaking Inside

If you feel a draft, it’s because cold air is leaking inside your home and you need to seal your home’s ‘envelope.’ The envelope is the physical barrier that protects the inside, climate-controlled environment from outside weather.  

To seal the envelope, go outside, clean any cracks and gaps around windows and door frames, and cover them with a bead of acrylic or polyurethane caulk.

Next, install weatherstripping to seal any gaps in exterior doorways. Here’s a rule of thumb: If, during the day, you see sunshine passing through the side of the door, you need to install weatherstripping or replace old weatherstripping that has failed.

The same rule applies under your doors. If you see daylight passing through, you’ve got a draft, and you can block it with a door sweep or a draft dodger.

A door sweep, such as The Duck Brand’s Triple Draft Seal, simply slides under the door — no tools required. It has three key parts: an inner seal to maintain room temperature, an outer seal to black drafts, and fins on the bottom to keep out water.

A draft dodger is a homemade item you can rest against the door to keep out drafts. You just need fabric, filling (like uncooked rice) and basic sewing skills.

If you don’t want to go the DIY route or to constantly reset your draft dodger when you’re indoors, a more convenient option is The Duck Brand’s Double Draft Door Seal, which has foam inserts you can easily cut to size, cover with fabric and strap into place.  

Smart thermostat installed on a wall just outside the bathroom
Zoned heating can make sure your home’s climate control matches your unique needs. (DepositPhotos)

2. Your Heating System Doesn’t Cover Your Whole House

If you have a two-story home, just one heating and cooling system won’t cut it. You really need two separate units to control what, essentially, are two separate homes.

Of course, what’s ideal and what’s realistic are often two different things. Having two systems would boost overall comfort on each level, but it also would significantly boost heating costs, and that may not be in your long-term budget.

So, here is a compromise: consider upgrading to a zoned ducted system. You just need one heat pump and as many motor-driven dampers to monitor and control airflow in each zone, whether it’s the kitchen, the living room or the bedrooms.

There’s another benefit to zoned climate control: You can save energy by heating only the spaces that you use.

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