By Marcus Lim
With the temperatures dropping and the chill settling in, it’s clear that winter is certainly upon us. If you feel like it’s torture to leave the warm sanctuary of your bed, it might be time to look at how you can make your home nice and toasty.
While many homeowners devote a large amount of energy and money into heating their dwelling during winter, it needn’t mean emptying your wallet for extra comfort. Making sure you have a draft-proof structure, smart furniture placement and good insulation will keep your home protected against the cold and save you money in the process. Try these simple home heating tips to escape the freeze this winter.
1. Safeguard your home
Water-proofing is a simple and preemptive exercise that will allow you to guard your home against erratic weather whilst keeping the cold air out. Beforehand make sure you check all your doors and windows for any spots that may be leaking cold air. Then proceed to seal them.
There are a few different ways you can do this. Caulking works by closing the seams between pipes, wedging material between boards and creating a watertight seal. Weather stripping blocks cold air by filling in empty spaces with expanding foam or felt strips. Before applying any weather stripping, make sure you measure the size of your frame and add in some margin. This is in case of mistakes.
2. Add insulation material
The prime time to insulate is when you’re building or renovating. That being said, if you’re just plain cold, it will drive up the temperature of your home in the winter months. Insulation works by reducing heat transfer and minimising the energy required to keep the temperature balanced in your home. Good insulation can cut your heating costs almost in half while cutting down CO2 emissions.
The best type of insulation for your house will depend on your home’s design, location and climate. When choosing insulation material, check it’s ‘R-value’ rating, which will be an accurate indication of how the material performs.
3. Make your interior heat friendly
Furniture placement can play a huge role in the retention of heat. To increase the warmth in your space, rearrange your furniture to avoid and deflect any cold drafts. Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking warm air vents and similarly position heaters away from the main doorway, as it will fend off any drafts.
Consider adding thick curtains to your house, as they are an inexpensive and an energy-efficient way to prevent heat loss during the winter season. Keeping the curtains closed and the blinds lowered during the night will also help to prevent heat loss. Try adding some rugs to the rooms in your house as well, this will add an extra layer of insulation. To complement your home heating makeover, reverse the spin of your ceiling fan so it moves clockwise and pushes rising air back downwards.
4. Go outside
Winter shouldn’t deter you from enjoying your outdoor space, like your patio or backyard. Entertain your friends and keep them warm with the help of patio heaters or table top heaters. For extra luxury, think about investing in an outdoor fireplace to add warmth and decorative style to your outdoor space.
5. Consider size
If you still want to invest in heating, first think about the size of the room. Choosing the right sized heater for your space will save your home energy and money. For example in a small room, a convective heater will be most effective because it disperses warm air across the room with an internal fan. As a contrast, gas heaters would be better suited to large rooms because they increase the air temperature quickly.
— Marcus Lim is the co-founder of Oneflare.com.au, a local services marketplace that connects Australians with more than 60,000 businesses across the country.