Empower Yourself this Winter
Wear your winter woollies
It sounds so obvious but adding a layer or two to your clothing to help keep you warm is sometimes more effective than a heater. It’s especially important to keep your feet warm with soft indoor shoes or slippers. Perhaps consider keeping a small blanket or rug handy for over your knees when the temperature drops late at night.
Isolate the rooms you heat by closing doors
Only heat one or two rooms, those that you are using the most. Use door snakes to insulate the gap between the bottom of doors and the floor.
It’s really so simple but adding pelmets to the top of your curtains will keep the hot air from escaping and reduce your heating bills
Change your thermostat
You can control your heat and save money simply by changing the set point on your thermostat to a lower temperature during the winter. 18 – 22°C should provide ample comfort during winter.
Check your windows
Reduce the heat lost through the windows of your house. You could cover the windows with curtains. Pelmets at the top of curtains prevent heat escaping out the window, as does ensuring the curtains reach all the way to the ground. Close your blinds/curtains when the sun goes down to keep the heat in.
Check where drafts are coming from and seal them
Can you feel the cold air coming through gaps? Drafts are very common and account for a great deal of heat loss.
Look for drafts in:
- Window frames, windows rattling in a strong wind.
- Door frames, especially under the doors.
- Floors, the cracks between the floor boards
- Chimney vent
- Exhaust fans
- In-floor air conditioning ducts
- Wall vents
- Gaps between the wall and the skirting boards
Ensure you have sufficient insulation
Your home will be warmer in the winter by retaining interior heat, and the insulation will block the sun’s heat from entering your home in the summer. Use extra insulation in the walls, under floors and in the ceiling to direct the reduction of heat transfer to where you need it.
See if anything is shading your home
Look for vegetation that is shading your home and blocking the winter sun. You may consider pruning this back to allow the winter sun to penetrate into the house and heat the surfaces internally. (be mindful though, because in summer this will shade your home from the heat)
Direct the heat
If your house has central heating, consider buying vent directors. These can be placed over vents to help direct the air into the center of the room instead of straight up to the ceiling – and they’re not expensive.
Recycle heated air
Ceiling fans used in partnership with heaters can help reduce your heating needs by moving the hot air around the room. Bedrooms: Open the door to the bedroom to let the heat through before you go to bed. Consider putting another blanket or doona on the bed rather than using a heater in the bedroom.