This is a guest post from Paul Taylor
As the winter months take their toll on your house, consider alternative—and simple—methods to keeping warm. Whether you use a gas furnace, electric heating, wood stove or other method of heating, you probably have something in your possession that can make a world of difference in energy efficiency. That ally is cardboard.
Cardboard is much more than box storage for knick-knacks. It can be a great insulator from the cold, especially the thicker corrugated versions. Where in your home can you use cardboard to promote heating efficiency?
By taping sheets of cardboard onto your windows, you prevent the cold from radiating in and the warm air from being cooled by the surface. If you provide approximately one-half of an inch of space between the glass and the material, you won’t have to worry about condensation soaking through the paper-like surface. Remove the cardboard covering in daytime to allow the sunlight to increase the temperature of your home. Put the cardboard back up on the window at nighttime or during winter storms.
When you close your door, there should be no light visible between it and the frame. If you do see light, then you can be rest assured that cold air is seeping in from that opening. A single piece of cardboard taped to the inside of the frame could provide a proper seal and eliminate expensive drafts.
Sometimes, when a door doesn’t fit perfectly, it leaves a gap at the bottom near the threshold—another space where cold air can seep in. While you might use a towel or old blanket to block this, taping or tacking a long piece of cardboard to the door can provide a cleaner look. Recently, we experienced frozen potatoes and onions in our home due to a similar situation with our kitchen door. Cutting a cat litter packaging box cut into strips has made a huge difference until we can afford a proper threshold replacement.
Air Conditioning Vents
If you have a built-in air conditioner or swamp cooler, cold air could be seeping in from these open vents. Cutting cardboard pieces to fit these openings can prevent this intrusion of winter into your home. Use Gorilla tape or other strong fastener to ensure that the vent covers don’t work themselves free from the metal surface of the unit.
Extra Heating Vents
Some rooms in your home may not need to be heated on a regular basis. By using a piece of cardboard taped to the heating vent, you eliminate that opening, which redirects the air flow to the rooms that are in use. While the air coming out of your vents isn’t hot enough to ignite the cardboard, the tape could work its way free if the glue melts away. An old phone book or similar object can keep the cardboard from blowing up from floor vents.
Although corrugated cardboard works best for providing insulation, nearly any variant of this substance can make an impact in the home. If you don’t have any in the house, many grocery stores and shops will give used inventory boxes away or toss them in a recycling bin around back. It’s a cheap method to save on your energy bills while promoting a more sustainable way to manage your winter.
About the Author: Paul Taylor started www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing and helping children and others learn to protect the environment and live sustainable lives.