Your screened-in porch needs some TLC before winter winds blow. Just like other outdoor areas surrounding your home, this space needs to be addressed before you consider your “getting ready for winter” tasks complete. Consider the following strategies to protect your outdoor belongings, as well as to help guard against heat loss.
1. Store or cover furniture.
Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may or may not need to remove the furniture from the porch. If you live in the north, snowy conditions, coupled with wind and freezing temperatures, can cause wear and tear on tables and chairs. If you have the space, store furniture in a basement, shed, or garage. If you do not have an extra storage area, you should move the furniture as close as possible to the house and cover with a tarp or plastic sheeting.
2. Apply plastic sheeting over screens.
Some homeowners choose to cover screened in porches with plastic sheeting for the winter. This process is relatively cheap and easy to do. Cut sheets of plastic to size, and affix them to the wood frame with a staple gun. You can choose to do this process on both the inside and the outside of the screens; it’s up to you. It is surprising how much warmth this simple addition will offer.
3. Apply plexiglass over screens.
Depending on the size of your screened in porch, you may want to consider plexiglass sheets. Although much more expensive than the plastic sheeting option, these sheets can be used for several years running. Think of this process as equivalent to placing storm windows around your porch. Sheets come in a variety of sizes (and thicknesses). Many companies decrease the price per sheet if you order a larger number of sheets.
4. Add shades.
If you live in an area of the country that has milder temperatures during the winter months, all you need to do is add bamboo or plastic shades to your screened in porch to help block the wind on blustery mornings. These types of shades come in a variety of sizes and lengths, so you should be able to find something that will work for your screens. Add a means of securing the bottom of the shades to the frame; otherwise, the wind will blow them inward.
5. Weatherproof the door to your home.
Make sure the seals on the door from the screened-in porch to your home are tight. Older homes often have doors that have gaps at the bottom. If you can afford it, a new door, one deemed as energy efficient, will help you save on your heating bills.
6. Add a space heater if feasible.
Again, if you live in the southern part of the country, where the temperatures do not dip as much in the winter, the simple addition of a space heater can keep your screened-in porch livable for the season. (Choose one that is energy efficient with safety features).