Your home should always be a warm, welcoming, and cozy gathering place for family and friends. But Daylight Saving Time is behind us and the cold, dark days of winter are ahead. Turning up the thermostat is not the only ─ or even the best ─ way to warm up. We have some great suggestions for ways to add more old-fashioned warmth when you update your home.

Three front doors in different colors

Photo courtesy Pella Windows & Doors

Warmer and Brighter

Energy-efficient windows make it possible to bring in more light by swapping out small windows for larger areas of glass, but still keep your home comfortable and save money on energy costs. High-performance windows provide warmer interior surfaces during the winter (and cooler interior surfaces during the summer), so your home always feels just right.

White room with many windows

Photo courtesy Pella Windows & Doors

If you’re replacing windows, consider replacing exterior doors as well, choosing the latest energy-saving products for both. Today’s exterior doors and frames look better, fit better and are better insulated, compared to older conventional doors.

Warmer and Smarter

Many people use a smart speaker like Amazon’s Alexa to play music or get the weather forecast. But did you know that many appliance manufacturers have added smart home connectivity to a broad range of products, including refrigerators, wall ovens, ranges, and more? With voice-activated controls, you can preheat the oven or check on the internal temperature of a roast while it’s cooking.

smart phone oven app

Photo courtesy GE Profile

A smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature setting at certain times of the day is great for comfort and energy efficiency. It can even learn your preferences and your schedule every time you adjust the temperature. Before you know it, it’s programmed itself to maintain your comfort or change the temperature when it detects no one is home.

Warmer and Easier

There’s nothing cozier than fireplaces when the weather is cold and snowy or rainy and raw. A fireplace is a sought-after feature that adds to a home’s value, and it’s never been easier ─ or more energy-efficient ─ to have one.

modern gas fireplace

Photo courtesy Heatilator Fireplaces

Older wood-burning fireplaces are more for ambiance than warmth. They actually suck the warm air out and send it up the chimney. They’re inefficient, compromise your indoor air quality, and create dust. Today’s gas fireplace inserts are a smarter choice. They warm the room and produce the glow of natural-color flames with push-button ease while burning very cleanly.

Warmer and More Pampered

Photo courtesy Moen

Don’t ruin your relaxing shower with icy water or a chilly bathroom. Pamper yourself with a shower system with voice-activated tech that can turn on the water and bring it to your preferred temperature and pressure automatically. And when you step out to towel off, radiant floors and heated towel bars are luxurious touches that make you feel that you’ve had a spa day in the comfort of your own master bath.

Warm Up in the New Year

If you think 2022 might be the year to make your home a lot cozier and warmer, we’d love to talk about your remodeling wish list. We can discuss the specific things you want to change as well as a big-picture vision of how you’d like your remodeled home to look and feel. And when the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, you’ll really appreciate the design/build remodeling process we use at Merrill to give you the stress-free “one-stop shopping” remodeling experience that our clients love.