This morning all the rooftops are covered in ice, as I sip my hot coffee on the way to the first job of the day – one inside a house, safe from the elements! But in our homes why are some rooms so much colder than others, even with the central heating on?
And the big question – how do I get my house comfortable all year ‘round without the huge electricity bill?
Here are some easy tips to help you through winter & saving on those bills that always seem to pile up!
- Find drafts
Even the most solid of homes has drafts. These can be from under doors, through uncovered windows, creeping through floorboards or even light fixtures or exhaust fans that are not on. They are all point in which air can creep through. The reason why our coffee thermos stays warm is that it is enclosed from all leakages & is insulated. If you left the lid off, the coffee would go cold. If you’re not sure where your draft are coming from, light a candle, you will usually see where the breezes are.
This can be the non-fun one which can be expensive. Look at the structure of your home. Do you have insulated ceiling cavities, underfloor insulation, are there blinds or curtains on all windows & can you close doors tightly to block off drafts? Eskies keep the cold in due to the thick walls & you need to do this with your home. Luckily there are loads of options out there now days to help with this, from pumping foam into wall cavities, ceiling batts & sealed lighting fixtures.
But if you can’t afford that, don’t fear. There are so many easy & affordable solutions that even renters can do to keep the chill out. And this is mostly with decoration – which is also fun!
You lose most of your heat from the windows in the house. This is where heavy curtains are ideal. If you don’t like that look, add blinds as close to the window glass as possible. This acts as a seal to stop the cold from coming in. Place draft-stopping ‘snakes’ at the bottom of your doors. Add textured rugs to cold floors to take the chill down & extra throws to your sofa & bed to give you extra heat when relaxing. While in the bedroom, add a woollen underlay to your bed as mattresses aren’t made up of much & the cold under the bed will hit straight on your spine.
Luckily, these are all things you can put in storage in summer or take with you when you leave the house. These items can also be quite decorative & add much more personality to your home.
Wear warm clothes with natural fibres closer to the skin, like woollen long sleeve shirts. These breathe & help you not sweat like polyester fibres. You don’t have to dress like you’re going to the snow inside your house, but socks or slippers insulate your feet from cold floors. Also, be aware that it is winter. We may not like it, our bodies need all seasons to increase our immunity & stay healthy. Embrace the fact that colder weather can be good for us & exercise more if you need to pump up your own body heat.
- Turn the heater down
Studies have shown that even a couple of degrees lower on our thermostats can save hundreds of dollars when the bills come in. Try to get used to a slightly cooler temperature in your home. Not only will this help you adjust when you walk outside but when you have done the ‘draft stopping’ & wear warmer clothing, you may not need to have it as warm inside.
Save money, decorate more & enjoy the winter months. That’s how to get through until the sun shines again!