Use a stick of lighted incense to check for leaks around windows and doors.
Although you can’t caulk outside while the temperatures are so low, windows can be caulked on the inside.
Then install clear plastic insulating film.
If your sill is deep enough, two layers 2 inches apart will give even better coverage against drafts.
Invest in thick thermal drapes. Open them on the sunny side of the house during the day and close them once the sun goes down.
They’ll help keep out heat in the summer, too.
Uncarpeted floors can be chilly, especially if you have small children who run around in bare feet or who play on the floor.
If you have wood, laminate or ceramic floors, consider getting a few inexpensive 5-by-8-foot carpets from a big-box store.
A dark carpet that collects heat from the sun all day will add warmth to the house and also provide insulation.
They can be rolled up and put under a bed during warm weather.
If you have an attic with insulation, measure how much is there.
Get a free energy audit or take a sample to the hardware store and get advice on how much of what kind to put down.
(If you get the roll type, remember to ask about whether the foil side goes up or down, depending on what you already have in place.)
If you need the blown-in kind of insulation, you’re better off not doing it yourself. Get references from whomever you decide to hire to do the job.
Is cold air coming through your bedroom walls?
It’s possible, especially on the north side of your house that never gets the sun.
One way to block the cold is to hang a tapestry on the wall behind the head of your bed.
Check unused electrical plugs on exterior walls: Do you feel a cold draft on windy days? Invest in those plastic plug covers.
A final note: Change your air filter, even if you did that in the fall.
David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible.
Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.