With winter upon us now, most outside activity over the next few months will be almost synonymous with cold and blustery conditions. Home usually offers a warm sanctuary, but if it is allowing the chill winds to enter, then heating bills will soar.
Sometimes, keeping the doors and windows closed when the sun is not shining (or there’s a cold breeze) might not be enough to keep the warmth inside. Here are some easy ways to ensure that your family will stay snug at home in any weather.
Insulate. Most homes built in the last ten years will be insulated, but if yours isn’t, it’s worth the expense as it has been found that insulated homes are often up to 10 degrees warmer in winter (and cooler in summer), trimming up to 40% off yearly home heating costs. Just adding batts in the ceiling will make a difference.
Plug draughts. Perhaps you’ve noticed some draughty areas in your home? Take a few minutes to inspect around the house for any areas that could allow a draught or unwanted air leakage, including door seals, window frames, fireplaces, carpet lining, air vents and skirting boards for gaps. Make a note of these places for reparation, as they can increase heating costs by up to 25%.
Landscape for warmth. By planting a few strategically-placed deciduous trees around your home, you can provide shade in summer while allowing sunlight to bathe rooms that the family uses most during the day.
Close off spare rooms. Close the doors to any rooms that are not being used, to avoid dispersing the warmth unnecessarily throughout your home.
Furnish draughts out. Never underestimate the value of the humble door-snakes (those long stuffed fabric tubes) for preventing air from entering/exiting a room through a gap under the door. Likewise, heavy curtains fitted close to window frames can help stop air flow in those areas where permanent sealing is not an option.
Even when all the draught sources are all plugged, it’s always cosy to have a few winter rugs and throw pillows around for snuggling into while the cold rages outside.