The warm weather was good while it lasted but, now that the night-time temperatures are starting to slip into single digits, it’s time to get ready for winter.
Implementing just a few of these tips and old-fashioned advice could end up saving you hundreds on your heating this winter.
1. Cut back
While shady plants near to windows offer fantastic protection in summer, especially on the northern and western faces of your property, they’re not so great for winter.
2. Bye Bye Birdy
If you have a whirlybird installed in your roof, it’s a good idea to make a temporary stopper so it’s not allowing precious warm air to escape from your roof space in winter.
3. All dressed up
Single pane windows are fantastic conductors of heat but, left uncovered at night, they spend the evening transferring your home’s warmth out into the cool air.
Whether it’s with thick curtains with pelmets overhead that stop the air circulating, or more minamalist honeycomb blinds, you’ll need to dress your windows for winter. Another option is a thick, snug-fitting roman blind layered with a softer-looking curtain.
4. Hello sunshine
Now that you’ve dressed your windows for winter, it doesn’t mean that you leave them closed up! How many times have you driven past homes on sunny winters days and see them all closed up?
It sounds basic, but remembering to open up blinds and curtains on northern windows on sunnier winter days really can help to warm up your home.
Cover bare floors with rugs to create a barrier between your feet and the cold-conducting surfaces below. Rugs add another layer of insulation to the floor, trapping the cool air underneath and keep it from seeping up and cooling the room. The warmth of the rug will keep your feet toasty too.
6. Fans work in winter too
Many ceiling fans have a winter switch which makes them run backwards. Set them on their lowest speed and they will direct the warm air from across the ceilings, and down the walls.
Circulating the air back through the room will heat the room more evenly and ease the effort your heater needs to keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
This can also help to combat condensation problems on windows by drying them out. If your fan doesn’t have a winter switch, all you need to do is simply change the direction of the blades.
7. Time to seal up
It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to cut down your heating bill – draught-proofing your house.
Whether you are in a new house or an older one, drafty windows, doors and attics will allow air to sneak out and along with it heat so seal up any air leaks to keep heat inside.
Replace worn weather stripping around windows and doors. Cuts made into the drywall to install lighting fixtures and ceiling fans create easy escape routes for air too. Seal the openings using a silicon or latex caulk.
By sealing air leaks, you can realize about thirty percent in energy savings.
8. Thermostat control
For most people, 22-23 degrees is a comfortable temperature to have your home at; though some people can manage at 18-21 degrees.
It’s worth keeping the temp down somewhat as it is estimated that every degree warmer you heat your home adds about 10 per cent to the cost of your heating bill.
9. Use a Humidifier
You know the saying: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”- but did you know that the same goes for cold air?
Adding moisture can make the air feel warmer, so you can turn down the thermostat and still be comfortable. And there’s no need to buy a humidifier.
Any metal container with water – kept at least half full – placed next to the heater or on top of a wood stove – will act the same as a humidifier, allowing the moisture to go back in the air.
10. Shut the door
By turning off the heating and shutting the doors in rooms you’re not using, you could be preventing up to 75 per cent heat loss.
11. Warm the body not the room
What’s wrong with wearing an extra jumper or a beanie or scarf indoors if it means a cut to your heating bills?
Another alternative is to snuggle up in a heated throw rug; it’s like a plush electric blanket which you cover yourself with.
Big savings to be made as you no longer need to heat the whole room while watching TV. Your only problem may be having to fight the kids/cat/dog who’ll want to share it!