How to keep your house warm during the winter

Everyone knows about plastic wrap on the windows, but what about these ideas?

Snow is cleared from the steps of 421 Massachusetts Avenue.
Snow is cleared from the steps of 421 Massachusetts Avenue on Feb. 13, 2017. –Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

To help Bostonians with all of their winter weather needs, we asked meteorologist and Boston.com contributor Dave Epstein to give us advice on everything you need to know to prepare for both the snow and the cold.

Question: Everyone knows about keeping your house warm with plastic wrap on the windows. Do you have any secret tips that most homeowners wouldn’t think of?

Answer: “One of the best things a homeowner can do is tied in with plants: If you think about the sun in the winter, you want to expose the southern side of the house to as much sun as possible. That will help offset the heating cost. You have sun coming in your windows and it warms the house up. Plant a tree on the southern side of the yard that loses its leaves in the winter; it will also regrow its leaves in the summer and have the added benefit of shade. You plant a big maple tree, and you’ll save money year-round. Conversely, if you plant an evergreen tree on the northern side of your house, that can help prevent some of the cold winds during the winter from coming in, which can also help mitigate heating costs.

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“There’s always the added insulation and new windows and all of that, but the other thing is to close curtains at night and open them during the day so the room is exposed to the sun. If you close your curtains at sunset and open them at sunrise except on incredibly cold days you’ll allow more solar heating to come in, which will save energy, as well.’’

For more up-to-date weather news, check out Dave’s Weather Wisdom blog or follow him on Twitter @growingwisdom.

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