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Dealing with Drafty Hardwood Floors Using Electric Fireplace Heaters
The preference for hardwood flooring can be pretty polarizing. The situation usually progresses thusly: those without have rose-colored expectations of how beautiful it will be and how much value it will add to the home. Those that reside in a home equipped with hardwood have a begrudging acceptance because every day living increases regular maintenance. Not all residents are able to take more thorough care for flooring, either due to renting, economic, physical or not being D.I.Y. proficient. Poorly maintained hardwood-flooring lets in an inordinate amount of dust and is constantly drafty which cause health and heating problems.
If you have hardwood floors and your residence is an apartment, mobile home, has a raised foundation, etc., chances are pretty strong that you will experience drafts. These unwelcome drafts bring in dust that can exacerbate allergies, and make things worse for those that have asthma. During the summer issues can be more severe. When the seasons change especially once winter comes around, slowly and surely a fair amount of heat can be lost through the floorboards. Seeking solace from the dust and the cold, some have resorted to area rugs, blankets, air purifiers, oil heaters and possibly even more drastic measures. None of them quite fits the bill because they aren't designed to heat larger areas.
Area rugs and wall-to-wall carpet can be great short term solutions but it shouldn't be a surprise that there are many different materials and methods used when making them. A very popular memento from traveling abroad is bringing home textiles and carpets, especially from the Middle and Far East. Area rugs in particular are versatile and stylish as they can be moved and changed as seasons and fashion dictate. Lighter rugs are excellent in the spring and summer such asa nice Berber which gives exceptional traction and is easy to clean. During winter months a heavier, knotted or high pile tufted carpet can be good insulation and quite comfortable under bare feet.
Lost on most Westerners, the practice of carpet weaving is very heavily steeped in history and culture specifically Persian and Armenian carpets and Oriental rugs. Many great cultures and civilizations have centuries old traditions in hand crafting rugs by hand using looms or from fantastically skilled embroiderers. Centuries old rugs still exist such as the Armenian Pazyryk carpet which dates between 500-300 B.C.E.and is currently on display at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Considered to be cultural treasures, works like this still exist and are a testament to the artisanship, skill and dedication from the ancient peoples who crafted them.
While not as easy to replace as rugs and often requiring professional installation, carpeting offers far superior comfort when compared to harder tile or wooden flooring and retains much more heat. Underlay, a thin cushioning material underneath carpeting, "provides enhanced comfort underfoot, reduces wear on the carpet and provides insulation against sound, moisture, and heat". Paired together, carpeting and underlay greatly benefit areas with high activity especially because it is often more durable, shows less wear and helps minimize noise when compared to hardwood.
Use Fireplace Heaters
If you aren't interested in a change in flooring, you are basically left with looking at ways to produce more heat in your home. Research indicates that one excellent solution would be electric fireplace heaters. Consulting some of the best electric fireplace reviews, they are efficient, affordable and portable. For those that are inclined to frequently move furniture, it's a great benefit that they can reorganize as needed without resorting to hiring contractors or electricians for a costly and messy remodel. On top of that, when moving to a new home electric fireplaces can be taken along allowing you to keep your investment. In large areas, they perform exceedingly well because they can diffuse the heat they make where something like an infrared heater are directional and only heat the direction in which they face.
For those who prefer to take home improvement into their own hands, there are options. Older types of hardwood can be refinished many times where newer, laminate flooring has a limited number of refinishes. Regardless, refinishing either is quite involved requiring several days of downtime, producing a lot of dust and uses some toxic finishes. Doing so requires all furniture to be removed and the area becomes unusable to foot traffic for up to 24 hours. Sanding makes a lot of mess which is sort of contrary to the idea of cleaning and maintaining the wood and collecting that dust during the process is not fool-proof giving you something to do after the process is "over". However many finishes have some amount of volatile organic solvents (VOT) and other toxic chemicals like heavy metals which can affect your health.