This condition can be caused by several factors including inadequate insulation, air leakage or failure in your heating system.

If you’ve cleaned your registers or heating ducts, checked for furniture or carpeting blocking hot air from coming in, and yet that one room is still cold, these ideas from local experts may be the solution for your cold room problem.

According to Amy Bilodeau at Gamache and Lessard, loss of energy through windows can account for 10 to 20 percent of a home’s heating costs.

“Warm air escapes and cold air comes in through any window that is not air tight,” she said. “And there are many options in window treatments that can be used, depending on the age of the window and your particular taste and budget.”

Cellular shades are one option.

“Cellular shades provide additional insulation to help warm a room as well as save on heating costs,” she explained. “They have a honeycomb structure that traps cold air coming in and warm air going out and they fit pretty snug against the window frame. Cellular shades also come with top-down, bottom-up options for more versatility and privacy.


Comfortrack shades are available, too. Bilodeau said, “It’s the same cellular-type shade with added tracks that snaps into place. The shade runs inside the track completely buttoning up any gap; locking out the cold.”

Bilodeau explained a few other options that will deliver comfort and savings year round.

“Wooden shutters compliment any window and help block the cold. Window quilts now come on a track to eliminate gaps and draperies can be insulated for better efficiency.”

Raedelle Knight, floor and wall supervisor at Home Depot, explained that do-it-yourself projects can go a long way in saving home energy costs as well as staying warm during cold weather.

“There are so many things on the market today to help homeowners stay warm in the winter months,” Knight said, “and easy enough for anyone to install or apply.”

Caulking-type products have come a long way from just exterior application.


“We have what is called Sean N’ Peel,” Knight said. “It is a removable-and-waterproof weatherstrip caulking that can be used either outside or inside. It comes in a tube and you apply to any gap where cold air seeps in. It works great and is temporary; come spring it can be peeled off.”

Heat-shrink window insulation is an option where the cold can be felt through the glass.

“It has a double-stick tape that you use to secure to the molding or frame, and then a hair dryer is used to shrink the film over the entire window. It’s a great product that is a far cry from the frosted plastic nailed to the outside of the house. Because it is clear, you can still see out the window, yet not feel the cold. These kits come in a variety of sizes including one for double doors such as sliders.”

For gaps around things such as electrical outlets and light switches, there are products for that as well.

“Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks is a polyurethane-based foam that fills and insulates small gaps,” Knight said. “It expands to take the shape of the void and leaves a durable water-resistant bond that stops airflow and even helps with condensation. On top of that, outlet insulators are easily installed as well as plug caps.”

Knight offered other simple D-I-Y solutions.


“Be sure your fan is turning in the right direction,” Knight said. “Warm air rises, so you want the fan pushing that warm air down. Door frame fans are a great help in pulling the warm air from the rest of the house into that one cold room. There are also double-sided door stops that keep drafts at bay; they can be used on exterior or interior doors. Even painting the room a warm color or adding a floor rug will give the sight and feel of warmth.”

For those who may want to add heat to a cold or unheated room, Gary Asselin, owner of Fireside Stove Shop in Auburn, explained options for adding heat with more than just a small plug-in heater, but without going through the expense of adding a chimney.

“There are now wall-mounted heaters with LED lighting,” he explained. “You hang it on the wall, plug it in and you have heat and a focal point to any room with its illusion of flames. Best of all, it is electric so no venting is needed. It’s very efficient, flexible as far as placement goes and flame adjustments are a touch away on a remote. For those with a little more room space, there are floor models as well that give ambient comfort and warmth.”

Gas heaters can add charm as well as heat to a room.

“Gas can be a bit more efficient than electric. They are fairly simple to install with a direct vent system and they come in an assortment of styles such as stoves, fireplaces and inserts; all depending on the size of the area needing heat. One nice feature is that they don’t need electricity to run, so if the power goes out, you stay warm.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: