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The parts of a building where people live and work need to stay dry and temperate. So architects wrap these so-called “conditioned” areas in a barrier called a building envelope. No building envelope is completely airtight, which is a good thing for breathing—but also means that some heat will inevitably escape. Still, you can take a few steps to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
Start by checking your ventilation: Open any vents and clear out dust and obstructions. Free air flow will help maintain a comfortable temperature. In homes with central heating, don’t forget your cold air returns, vents that usually sit on your wall at about the baseboard level. They’re designed to provide an outlet for the cold air, whose escape makes the room warmer.
Vents - Ceiling - Fans - Flow - Heat
Like vents, ceiling fans can help control the flow of heat. If you have these spinners, set them to rotate clockwise, which forces hot air downward. To do so, turn off your fan, wait for it to stop completely, and then use a stepladder to climb up and look at the motor housing. It should include a switch that lets you change its direction.
Next, hunt for leaks. Any portal to the outside, such as a door or a window, is a potential source of cold air. So check the weather-stripping on doors and windows, and if you see wear, such as cracks or peeling, remove the old material and replace it. If you plan to leave your...
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