How to: keep your home warm this winter
Well, with Christmas being just being a few days away it may seem that we’re well in the grips of the winter chill. Unfortunately however, this may not be the case, as statistically January and February are colder than December, with February being dubbed by many as the coldest month of all.
So, while you may have been braving the cold happily so far, we’ve still got a fair while to go yet before we can think about turning off the heating and putting away the winter coats. So what can you do if the temperature plummets? Being cold when your outside is one thing, but no one wants to be shivering in their own home, but don’t turn up the thermostat so fast, first read these tips on other ways to make your home warmer.
Okay, we know we’re stating the obvious here. But the fact of the matter is while many of us now have double glazed windows and insulated lofts, there are many other areas of the home where heat escapes that are all easily, and inexpensively remediable. 25% of all heat loss comes from the windows and minor draughts around the house.
Take the letterbox for example, this may seem like a minor culprit when it comes to letting the warmth leave your home, but fitting an excluder will make a considerable difference. Other small areas that will benefit from a little insulation include the loft access hatch and any heating and hot water pipes.
Photo by Tino Rossini , via Flickr, License .
Restore or block your fireplaces
Many homes now have fireplaces that are purely decorative, or may have been covered over in a rather slapdash manner by a previous owner. Chimney balloons can be bought incredibly cheaply and are fairly easy to install — the special laminate balloon is placed up the chimney just out of sight, then is inflated to completely block the chimney, reducing heat loss.
Of course, to create a more of a cosy environment you could also restore the fireplace allowing you to have a roaring open fire or more contained log burner. This will however reduce the heat efficiency of the room when you don’t have a fire on.
Heat the floors
Underfloor heating is available in both water-heated and electrical varieties and is a highly efficient way to warm a space. As heat rises the energy flows upwards subtly warming the whole room to a comfortable level, while also giving a pleasingly warm feeling underfoot.
Underfloor heating is particularly popular in tiled and stone floored rooms, such as kitchens, bathrooms and entrance halls. As the actual installation requires you to pull up the floor it is a more common feature of new-build homes. But could be a great addition if you’re considering replacing the flooring of a room anyway, or for any extensions you’re adding to your home.
Go for thick curtains
In addition to double or even triple glazing, thick, well-lined curtains are a great way to add even more insulation to your windows. The trick is to keep them drawn open during the daylight hours as the light will help warm the room, but you should close them as soon as dusk falls.
Keep the radiators clear
This can be tricky, particularly if you’ve got a small living room or you’ve found the perfect arrangement for a room. But pressing big items of furniture such as sofas and armchairs up against the radiator will block some of the heat that flows into the room making your heating less efficient.
Conversely if your home has high ceilings, adding a small shelf a little above the radiator can help the heat flow better through the room rather than directly rising, this is also a good way to stop heat getting trapped behind the curtain, if the radiator sits beneath a window. But remember, it’s important not to put things directly on the radiators themselves.