At Home with Lisa: Prepping for winter with window plastic and a vacuum

The days are getting shorter and it’s cooling off at night. It’s starting to put me in mind of fall and what I’m going to need for winter.

Getting ready for winter means the opposite of getting ready for the warmer weather. While both include sealing off leaks, one aims to keep the warmth out and the other aims to keep it in.

A couple of weeks ago I installed rope caulk in my windows between the pane and the sill. Just in case, I’m putting it on my shopping list. I can find it at the hardware store for about $5 or $6.

Another purchase I always make this time of year is plastic for my windows. One of the things I love about my old house is that it has a window in every room. While this lets in lots of natural light, it also lets out warmth. Window plastic will not only reduce air leaks and drafts to improve comfort, but the air gap it creates between the windowpane and plastic will also become an additional insulator that helps decrease heat loss through the glass. When I purchase window plastic in the fall, I also check out my supply of painters’ tape. This prevents the adhesive for the plastic from taking the paint off my pane. I can find window plastic at the hardware store from $5 to $40, depending on how much I need.

Unfortunately for me, my house is heated with baseboard heaters. Someday I hope to replace them with something more energy efficient, such as a ductless heat pump, but until then I’m stuck with the baseboards.

Now that winter is coming, I need to vacuum these. After making sure they’re turned off, I use my vacuum’s brush attachment, snap off the front of the heater and start vacuuming. Over the last year, dust and pet fur settled in the coils. I clean them so they work more efficiently. It also helps to get rid of that burning smell you get when you turn on your baseboards for the first time of the season.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.

Find more energy-saving tips for winter.

DIY Savings Tips


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