Help! Cold floor alert! Cold floors -- and cold feet -- are a common complaint in winter, and they really are no laughing matter unless you like purple toes.

Here's the not so quick fixes; but, keep reading and I will provide the quick fix:

  1. Keep Cold Air Out, Warm Air In
First solution, which will help provide a comfortable temperature for the whole house, not just the floor. Stop drafts and heat loss. Fill any holes or cracks in the walls or between your baseboards and the floor with caulk or other sealant. In addition, install or replace the weatherstripping around your doors and windows. Make or buy a draft snake, but don't get this at the pet store. 
  1. Insulate Underneath
Now for the "get dirty" solution. When the floor is above an unheated crawl space, install insulation between the floor joists. Be sure to check periodically to make sure that it is in good shape; insects or critters may occasionally get into your crawl space and wreak havoc with your insulation. Insulation may also be dislodged by the natural movement of your home settling. Avoid these problems altogether by using spray foam insulation, which is costly, but a lot more efficient than fiberglass. Although unfinished basements are usually somewhat warmer than crawl spaces, insulating will still help to keep the floor above at a more comfortable temperature.
  1. Insulate on Top
If your home is set atop a cement slab and you are planning to have new flooring laid, install a layer of rigid insulation over the concrete first. Of course you may not be in any great hurry to replace your existing floors. In that case, a simple form of insulation is putting down area rugs in the winter. Wool ones are the best choice.
  1. Get the Best Performance from Your Heating System

Inspect and maintain your heating system on a regular basis to make sure that you are getting the best possible performance from it. Besides keeping the ducts and heat registers clean, make sure that your registers are not blocked by furniture or drapes and have not become disconnected from the ductwork. Oh, and change the air filter every 6 months otherwise you furnace is working overtime to keep the air moving.

  1. Add Extra Heat
When you need to sit or stand in one area of a room for long periods of time -- perhaps at the desk in your home office -- a small space heater may be enough to take care of your freezing feet. But, of course, if you move to another area of your home you will need to take the heater with you or you can have space heaters and cords all around the house and hope you do not blow a fuse or start a fire. The ultimate luxury is to install underfloor radiant heating. However, this is a fairly major home improvement, which must be done by a trained and experienced heating professional. Besides the heating itself, the project requires installation of new flooring as well as the addition of a dedicated 20-amp circuit. But your feet will love it!
So there's your five fixes that all cost more (in some cases, lots more) than my favorite fix that you can take with you as you move about you house or stay put in one place. Sheepskin slippers.
You knew for the beginning that I was going to suggest sheepskin slippers. Ha, no surprise there.  The very warmest slippers are the bootie style that will keep your ankles warm too. Or, I will suggest the 2 buckle boot, which has a light-weight sole, plus it is currently on sale. 
Here's to warmer feet as the holiday season and the cold winter settles in.
Happy Holidays
Dennis and Denise

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