20 Jun 2016

Ensuring your home is nice and toasty through the Winter season need not be a costly exercise.

Ensuring your home is nice and toasty through the Winter season need not be a costly exercise. Here are some easy ways to keep you and your home warm this winter without breaking the bank.

1. Make sure everything is sealed

The easiest way for cold air to get inside is through open cracks in your window seals. In fact,almost half of your home’s heating can be lost through cracks in windows. If you feel a draft coming through the window, simply get some sealant from the hardware store and seal the edges. If it feels like more of a major job, you may need to get an expert to come and have a look.

While you’re investigating where drafts are coming from, don’t forget about your doors. That little strip of space in between the door and the floor is just calling out for some air to come through. So your best bet is to cover it. Door snakes or even rolled up towels are the perfect solution.

Also look at any air vents in the walls; older houses are notorious for this. If you own your home, consider hiring someone to expertly seal these in. If you’re renting, just slap on some cardboard using Blue Tac to ensure the vent is covered.

2. Layer up

Well this one just seems obvious, but it’s amazing how people rely on t-shirts once inside. The key is to put on layers, and make sure one of them is skin-tight. Also, invest in some warm snuggly blankets for the couch, and consider using heat packs and hot water bottles at the end of beds.

Another tip is to use warmer bedding. Investigate whether your doona is a summer or winter one because that may very well be why you’re waking up shivering at night. There are even some doonas on the market that clip together to become winter ones and separate for the other seasons. If you can’t invest in a new doona, find some warm blankets to pop on top. Alternatively, look into some warmer bed sheets. For example, flannel tends to be a warmer fabric.

Finally, if you don’t want to wear your shoes around the house, make sure your feet are covered by wearing socks or slippers at all times.

3. Close the doors

Again, one of the more obvious solutions but if you’re not using a particular room, close the doors. This is especially true if you’re using a heater. By keeping all the other doors open, you’re making your heater do more work than it actually needs to. Also, the room will heat up much faster if the hot air is not given the opportunity to move between other rooms.

4. Let natural light in

Now, obviously this may not work on a gloomy overcast day, but if the sun is shining, open up your blinds. Strong sunshine, especially that in Australia, is great for natural heat. Just remember to close your blinds as soon as dusk falls. This serves two benefits, helping to retain the heat absorbed by your carpet and walls during the day and it also helps to keep the cold air out at night.

5. Rug up

There are plenty of homes that have floorboards or tiled floors. Regardless of whether your home is insulated, it’s just a given that hard floors feel colder. Rugs are not only a great accessory, personalising your home, but they also mean your feet will be warmer as you walk around. It’s also worth checking to make sure there are no gaps in the floorboards as this can create a draft.

6. Time your heating

It’s much more cost-effective to slowly release warmer air than it is to put the heating on full blast. Set your heating to go on about an hour before you’re due to get out of bed. This means when you get up, your home will be toasty and warm. And use the thermostat effectively.Don’t put it too high during winter, about 20-21 degrees is generally sufficient. This is a comfortable temperature for more people. If you don’t have a thermostat on your heater, simply pop a thermometer in the room you’re heating up. When it rises above 21 degrees, turn the heating off.