Jack Frost is out and about, there’s snow on the ground some mornings, it’s been windy and cold. How can you stay toasty warm in your home, not just by putting more coal on the fire or leaving the central heating on for longer, but by preventing heat being lost in various ways?
Here are ten tips:
1. Draught Excluders
I’m starting with the quickest and cheapest method of preventing heat loss. Purchase (or make) some long sausage-shaped draught excluders. Place them at the base of each exterior door. When you settle down for the evening to watch television or read a book, put a draught excluder at the base of the living room door too and it will make a difference to the temperature in the room.
2. Secondary glazing
If the windows in your home are single glazed or if they aren’t fitting as well as they once were, secondary glazing is a good option. It is an additional pane of glass or an additional window set behind the existing window and provides an extra layer of insulation.
3. Interlined Curtains
Curtains in a heavy fabric, particularly if they are interlined with a fleecy fabric between the lining and the curtain material, act like a blanket. They keep the cold air around the window and insulate the rest of the room from any draughts. We have large windows in our home and I draw the curtains as soon as light starts to fade around 4:30pm, it makes such a difference.
4. Loft Insulation
Heat rises so heat can be lost through the roof of your home. There is no point in the ice being melted from the roof while you’re shivering inside so loft insulation is an important factor. Quite a bit of heat can be lost through the roof of your home so make sure that there is plenty of insulation up there. If the upstairs landing always seems cold, which of course affects the rest of the rooms, check to see if the access door to the attic closes properly with a good seal and if insulating it could help. You can use an adhesive to attach fibreglass insulation to the attic side of the door.
5. Open Fire or Stove
A lot of heat is lost up the chimney of an open fire and that happens both when the fire is lighting and when it isn’t. Many homeowners are opting to install stoves now as their output of heat is considerable. Do get advice on the correct size of a stove for the room but you will find that the heat from a stove filters through very effectively to nearby rooms too.
Recommended read: Which is best for your home – open fire or wood burning stove?
If you’re not using the open fire on a regular basis, perhaps only at Christmas, then block up the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon. They fit various chimney sizes. You can simply blow up the balloon and place it in the chimney. If you forget to take it out before you start a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate so it won’t cause your house to fill with smoke.
6. Expanding Foam
Pipes, gas lines and electrical cables going into your house often have spaces around them that have not have been filled in completely. These spaces let cold air in. They might also be entry points for mice and insects. You can seal these spaces relatively easily with expanding foam.
7. Wrap up Warm
It may sound obvious but there’s little point in spending a fortune on heating and just wearing a t-shirt. The house does need to be toasty warm if you’re having a dinner party but for normal use, put on an extra layer or have a cosy blanket to hand by the sofa. Wearing thick slipper socks helps too. An electric blanket or a hot water bottle ensures the bed is cosy.
8. Add A Layer to the Flooring
If you have hard flooring in the living room, invest in a rug for the winter months – wrap the floor up warm as well. Even if you have underfloor heating, the bare look of a tiled floor in a living area can look cold. Texture and fabric add warmth. If a place looks cosy, we’ll feel warmer.
9. Efficient Heating
Get your heating system serviced once a year by a qualified professional as it may not be working as efficiently as it could be. Sometimes radiators only heat half way up and this is because they need “bleeding” to let air escape.
10. Extractor Fan
Don’t forget to turn extractor fans off as while they remove steamy air from a kitchen or bathroom, they’ll also be removing warm air. Once they have done their job, switch them off or if you have teenagers in the house who forget to do so, get a timer so they switch off x minutes after being switched on.
Many of these recommendations can be carried out easily but if you need a tradesperson (for example, for installing secondary glazing, insulating your loft or servicing your boiler), do look for quotes on our website.