10 Terrific Tips to Warm Your Home This Winter
With some small, smart tweaks you can warm your house in winter without the excessive drain on power and your wallet. Warm air escaping through the floor, ceiling or gaps is a little like burning money in the fireplace to keep warm. Here are our 10 terrific tips to warm your house this winter:
1. Lay wool carpets
Wool carpets are a natural insulator that keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
The Carpet Institute also reports that uncovered floors can account for 10 to 20% of heat loss and is proportional to the area carpeted. So, the larger the carpeted area, the less heat you lose. A good quality carpet underlay is a good insulator too and nothing beats that soft and snuggly feeling when your feet hit a carpeted floor.
We say, bring back the trend for carpet on the walls!
2. It's not too late to insulate
ABC's Carbon Cops say that uninsulated ceilings, walls and floors can account for 70% of total heat loss from your home, 'Insulating a home can save 45-55% of heating and cooling energy.' We say, bring back the trend for carpet on the walls! The point is, a few investments in insulation can save you a lot of money in heating over the years.
3. Not too cool for fans
Did you know that your ceiling fan can be used for both heating and cooling? Most fans have a switch to select a summer or winter setting. In winter mode, the blades turn in a clockwise direction pushing any heat that is being generated down.
4. Warm the people, not the house
It may sound straightforward, but it's much easier to warm a person than a whole house. Put on a jumper, your slippers or ugg boots and if you're on the couch, a blanket. If ever you needed an excuse to buy a new throw for the couch, this is it.
5. Feel the heat
Around 20ºC in winter is a comfortable temperature for most people. If your heater doesn't have a programmable thermostat, a thermometer in your living area will help you keep an eye on the temperature. According to Choice, the consumer advocacy group, 'Each degree less will save about 10% on your energy use.'
6. Mind the gap
According to Environmental Victoria, if you added up all of the cracks and gaps in your home it is equal to having a 1 x 1.5 metre window open at all times. Seal gaps and cracks with gap filler or door and window seals and consider investing in a few door snakes. All of these items are very affordable and can be found at your local hardware store.
7. Let the sunshine in
Make the most of free energy by opening curtains and blinds to let the sunshine in to warm your home during the day. North facing windows will let in the morning sun while West facing windows are best for the afternoon sun. As soon as the temperature outside drops below the temperature inside, close it all up to conserve that lovely heat.
Can you remember your mum shouting 'Shut the door!'?
8. Close the curtains and blinds
Up to 40% of the heat escaping from your home in winter is from uncovered windows. Heavy, lined curtains which extend below the window frame will insulate your windows and help keep the warmth in. As we said, once the heat drops, draw the blinds and snuggle in.
9. Do some baking
Break out the winter recipes, fire up the oven and get baking. The oven will heat your living areas in no time and you get to enjoy some home cooking. Go for recipes that require a bit of oven time like slow cooked roasts, casseroles, breads and cakes. That is win-win!
10. Shut the door!
Can you remember your mum shouting, 'Shut the door!'? It turns out she was on to something. Keep the doors to the rooms you have heated shut to conserve the heat you are paying for. If you have central heating, you may be able to it to heat different zones at different times or close vents to avoid heating areas that aren't being used.
Winter can be a costly time but with a few minor investments and some tiny changes you can make the most of the winter warmth.
ABC, Carbon Copy, Heating and Cooling
The Carpet Institute, Facts Thermal
Choice, Your Guide to Home Heating