Last week, Lou Manfredini (better known as "Ace Hardware’s Helpful Hardware Man") offered some tips on ways to make cheap and easy upgrades to your home. Lou gave readers so much great advice that I had to split the post into two parts, so as not to overwhelm you with all of his superb helpfulness! To see the rest of his answers, check out the Q&A.
CasaSugar: As the temperatures drop, some of our readers are concerned about losing heat through their fireplaces. Are there any products you recommend, or techniques for reducing fireplace heat loss?
Lou: Your fireplace can be a very romantic fixture when there is a warm fire to sit by. But when it’s off it’s a heat sucker. Make sure the damper is closed once the fire and heat have died down and if you have doors on your fireplace, close those to reduce the heat loss when not in use. If you typically do not use the fireplace in the Winter, then you can install a window film kit using double-sided tape that in many cases can stick right to the face of the fireplace. Just like a window or door, if you install it properly and use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic, you will not even know it’s there and you can increase the energy efficiency of that opening by up to 70 percent.
To hear more of Lou's advice, read more