When the big chill of an Australian winter arrives, you want to be prepared to efficiently and effectively combat the cooler temps at your home. Besides piling on woolly layers, sipping on a hot brew and slipping into your favourite pair of ugg boots, here are our top tips to keep cosy and warm at home this winter.
Leave your curtains and blinds open during the day to allow nature’s ‘free heater’ sunlight to warm up your home throughout the day. Then once the sun goes down, close all window coverings so they act as insulators to keep the heat energy the sun generated through the window during the day inside.
Take advantage of the heat you produce when cooking by leaving the oven door ajar after cooking to let the heat warm your kitchen and living area. This is heat you will have created anyway, so why not re-purpose it to cut down on the use of your heater.
When you do need to use your heating system it’s worthwhile to make sure it’s working as efficiently and safely as possible. Have your gas heater professionally serviced every one to two years. For open fireplaces, it’s a good idea to have it checked for carbon monoxide leaks and cleaned by a chimney sweep before its first use of the season.
Image from: 142 Airlie Road, Pullenvale, QLD
According to YourHome.gov up to 25 per cent of heat loss in the home in winter is due to air leakage. So, it’s important to patch up any cracks, gaps and holes that are letting hot air out and cold air into your home. Check for draughts by lighting a stick of incense near potential air leak points and seeing whether the smoke is being blown in or out of the room.
Rid yourself of draughts by patching up any gaps on window and door frames with rubber draught strips, add run PVC weather strips along the bottom of draughty doors or enlist an old-school door snake to block cold air flow.
YourHome.gov reports 25 to 35 per cent of heat loss in the home in winter occurs through the ceiling, and 15 to 25 per cent through walls. If you live in an older property and really feel the chill in winter, it might be worth considering retrofitting insulation to your ceiling and if possible walls. Trust us, your heating (and cooling come summer) energy bills will thank you for it!
Other measures to improve your home’s insulation include:
- Fit double glazed windows or for a more budget-friendly alternative look at getting double-glazing film applied to glazing.
- Install long heavy lined curtains and pelmets to minimise the 10 to 20 per cent of heat that is typically lost through windows.
- Add plush floor rugs to timber flooring and tiled areas to reduce the 10 to 20 per cent of heat that is lost through flooring.
Ceiling fans are not only useful in summer, they’re also an asset in winter time for circulating hot air in your home. Most modern ceiling fans come with a reverse winter setting where the fan pushes the hot air that accumulates near the ceiling downwards into the room.
Image from: 1 Lookout Avenue, Dee Why, NSW
To look forward to rather than dread your winter morning shower routine, think about adding underfloor heating, heat lamps and heated towel rails to your bathroom. There’s nothing better than warming up in a toasty dry towel after a shower to start the day.
We hope these tips get you on track to creating a warmer and more efficient home this season. For more ways to improve your home check out these seven household jobs to take on in winter.
Larissa Gardner is a blogger, social media strategist and marketing coordinator at arguably Australia’s best looking, banner-ad free real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home easier and faster than ever before.