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Preparing for a winter at home

A few simple adjustments to your home can freshen up your workspace and save you money.

MINNEAPOLIS — Winter is setting in and with the pandemic you may still be working from home, not going out to eat and overall spending more time in the house. So, it’s time to invest in keeping your space warm and cozy without breaking the bank.

Brad and Heather Fox buy, renovate and sell houses. They also host HGTV’s Stay or Sell currently in it's second season. “The general idea is create efficient heat on the inside and then try to keep it in your home as best you can.”

That being said, Brad drills down on some specifics so you don’t lose your hard-earned money to energy inefficiency. “Really good insulation in your attic, that’s super important but not always the most cost effective. Some affordable things would be to get that furnace tuned up, change the filter in your furnace and make sure your furnace is running really well.”

Other relatively simple things to add to add to your DIY list to keep the heat in your home include:

  • Reverse the blades on ceiling fans so they push rising warm air back down into the room.
  • Flush your water heater to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank, improving efficiency
  • Close heating vents in rooms you aren’t using, like a guest bedroom
  • Fixing air leaks around doors and windows

By sealing or caulking doors and windows, you can instantly improve heat loss by 5-10%. Heather suggests wrapping older windows with plastic. “It’s kind of old school but it definitely works if you have the old windows.” And she stresses it’s not just for windows. “If you have a fireplace, a wood-burning fireplace that you don’t use often, wrap that too.”

So, now that you’ve done the nuts and bolts for keeping hot air in your house, take some time to make your place fun and exciting while also capitalizing on a fresh, warm and cozy look. One of the ways to make a really big impact that’s not very expensive, is adding some new textures to a room like throw blankets and new pillows.

Lighting is important to set the tone for a room, so try to avoid the super bright, cool white bulbs that have an undertone of blue. “When you actually walk into the room that’s lit up with that kind of light it feels really sterile.” Heather prefers a softer glow, “Buy the warm, soft white light bulbs. It might not feel any warmer but it’s going to feel a lot cozier, that’s for sure.”

Also, use ambience to incorporate all your senses. Heather always leans towards lighting a candle. “If it’s a good smelling candle that kind of get all your senses going. I honestly do feel like it’s the ultimate winter accessory to have, is just a good smelling, cozy candle.”

As for furniture, if you’re thinking of redoing your place, the next ‘hot’ designer trend might not be music to everyone’s ears. The 80’s are coming back. “80’s furniture! Curves, squiggly lines, curved couches, soft lines, the textures, the patterns, it’s making a comeback. I think in the next 2 to 3 years it’s going to be part of mainstream furniture.”