Winter has been pummeling the East Coast this year, covering most cities with up to seven feet of snow. One industrious Massachusetts resident used the massive snowfall to his advantage, building an igloo in his backyard and renting the seven-by-five-foot snow cave out on Airbnb for a mere $10 a night. If you don’t have the same architectural prowess, however, there are plenty of ways to make do with all the snow this winter.
1. Ditch the shovel
Make getting out of your house less of a hassle by installing a heated driveway. Record snowfall has left many trapped inside their houses. Don’t be a victim of cabin fever, and let this winter’s heavy snowfall inspire you to look at options such as a heated driveway. These once-only-for-the-wealthy driveways are exactly what the name suggests – regular driveways with heated elements, such as electric wires or a hydronic system embedded in the pavement. When these elements are turned on, they heat the surface of the driveway and melt away the snow. You can heat the entire driveway, or just the area under your tires. Either way, you probably won’t miss shoveling.
2. No need for socks and slippers
Driveways aren’t the only surfaces that could use some heat in the winter. There are radiant heating systems made specifically for your indoor floors. How many times have you hopped across the hardwood – or worse, tile – floor to the bathroom in the morning? With radiant heating, your home will be warm and cozy from head to toe(s).
3. Keep the heat in
Keeping the heat from escaping your toasty retreat can be a challenge. Fireplaces are the number-one culprits of heat thievery. Many people think that lighting fires helps to heat their homes, when in reality the flames only encourage any heat in the room to make a getaway up the chimney. Traditional metal flues and chimney sealers don’t do much to stop this, as metal conducts heat. Experts suggest a rubber stopper to truly seal your home. You can find something specifically designed for fireplaces, or you can use an inflatable rubber pool toy. Inflate it to the proper size, and help it follow Santa’s path. Just remember to take it out before lighting a fire.
Another important place to properly seal is the attic. Keeping the attic cool is vital to prevent the formation of ice dams on your roof. Ice dams are formed when the heat from inside your house causes the snow on the roof to melt. It then runs and refreezes, forming icicles. Sure, icicles are pretty, but they are also dangerous. Ice dams can also cause roof leaks that damage the interior of your house. So make sure the ceiling of your top floor is properly insulated to keep heat in your home and out of your attic.
With a few home improvements, even the worst winter storms can become bearable. Making your home as cozy as possible is easier than ever with tips and technology, so you can enjoy the snow when you want it, and keep out of the cold when you don’t.