As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, it’s time to rug up and keep warm. Here is a list of suggestions to keep your house warm in winter and avoid unnecessary energy use and costs.
1. Invest in a rug and liner
Not everyone can afford under-floor heating for tiles and floorboards. A rug will make a big difference for your cold feet throughout winter. Uninsulated floors, especially floorboards with gaps, account for up to 15% of heat loss.
2. Change your bedding
Flannel sheets, down comforters, pillow toppers, mattress toppers and extra blankets will all help you keep warmer at night without the need to leave your heater on all night. Warm pyjamas, fluffy socks, hot waters bottles and microwavable wheat heat packs make a big difference too!
3. Protect your windows
Up to 40% of household heat escapes through uncovered windows. Heavy, lined curtains which extend beyond the window frame will help preserve most of the heat. Pro Tip – you can install pelmets or bits of plywood to the top of your curtain rail to cover the gap between the rail and the wall. Double glazing your windows will also make a big difference. These may be too expensive for you to install or you may only be renting – in these cases, special double glazing film can be applied at a fraction of the usual cost.
4. Insulate your home
Well insulated homes use up to 45% less energy for heating and cooling. While it is a substantial upfront investment, you will save money and greatly benefit the environment in the long-run. Pro Tip – you can also insulate your water pipes with cheap insulative heat tape.
5. Seal up air draughts
The average home has enough cracks and gaps to equal an open 1 metre by 1.5 metre window. This would account for 15-25% of heat loss in the home. Use weather stripping around doors and windows, gap filler for cracks in the wall, and even cheap door snake for the bottom of doors.
6. Maintain your heater and thermostat
A clean and well-maintained heater with a working thermostat will warm your home more efficiently, so be sure to have a professional heater tune-up at least once a year. You can also clean the air filters yourself and try to maintain a dust free home. If your heater doesn’t have a thermostat, put a thermostat in the lounge room and keep an eye on it. Think about putting on warmer clothes before turning up the heat too.
7. Close the doors
There’s no point wasting energy by heating areas of the house that aren’t in use. If your system will let you, you can turn off the heat to an empty room. If you have a central heater in one room, try to spend time in there and close surrounding doors.
8. Check your fans
Most ceiling fans have the option to reverse the direction of the blades. In winter, the blades should go anti-clockwise to push the risen warm air back down again.
Exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen will suck the rising hot air out of the house. Try to use them a little as possible in winter and make sure to switch them off when you are finished.
9. Move your furniture
It sure feels good to sit right in front of the heater, but your sofa could actually be absorbing all of the heat rather than allowing it to circulate freely around the room and house. The same is true for curtains or drying clothes, so it is probably worth rearranging things.
10. Reflector panels
Reflector panels for radiator heaters are quite cheap and easy to install. They reflect heat back into the room rather than just heating up the walls.