7 Practical ways to Make Your Home Cosy For Winter
As Winter sets in you’ve no doubt felt the cold nipping at your toes over the last while. It’s always worthwhile having a bit of a run around the house and seeing where you can make things a little warmer. This blog article does just that, saving you money on your heating bill, and ensuring that your home always stays cosy over the Winter months.
1) Insulate Pipes
The enemy of every home owner in Winter is undoubtedly frozen pipes. Make sure that yours are well insulated, particularly if you’ve just moved into a brand new home. Check for any pipes which are close to the out doors, for example in a basement, or utility room. If there are gaps and fissures in block work in these rooms, seal them to make sure there’s as low a chance of frosty air getting in as possible. It makes sense to see if there’s anywhere which could do with some additional insulating throughout your hot water system to keep things running efficiently as well. You’ll spend less money heating your water and less on heating in general.
2) Service Your Boiler
The boiler is an important part of your home heating system, so it makes sense to ensure that it is in tip top condition. If you are in rented accommodation, then it’s your landlords responsibility to ensure that your boiler is serviced once a year – and it’s the law. A fully qualified engineer will make sure your boiler is running as efficiently as possible and isn’t squandering energy – this will save you money on your bills, as well as cutting your homes’ carbon footprint.
3) Further Insulate Your Attic
Unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills and stay warmer by adding more insulation. Many older homes have less insulation than homes built today, but even adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself within a few years. If you are currently using your attic for storage, it’s time to find a new home for that unwanted junk as the simplest and cheapest way to insulate an attic is to add insulation material to the floor. But if the floor is covered in plywood, you can’t stuff enough insulation beneath it to do the job sufficiently— not even in warmest of climates. This is a job you can tackle yourself, but make sure to use dust masks, eye goggles, gloves and cover your arms and legs as fibreglass is a well known irritant.
4) Seal Draughts
There are a few places to check for draughts. Your key hole, around your front door (your letterbox) and your windows throughout your house are all typical culprits, although not all windows need to be draught proofed. Double or triple glazing installed since 2002 does not need to be draught proofed at all as the window should be sufficiently built to prevent the problem in the first place. However, for windows that open, you can buy draught-proofing strips to stick around the window frame to fill the gap between the window and the frame.
There are two types:
- Self-adhesive foam strips – cheap, and easy to install, but may not last long.
- Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached – long-lasting, but cost a little more.
For sliding sash windows, foam strips do not work well. It’s best to fit brush strips or consult a professional. For windows that don’t open, use a silicone sealant. Another option is to make sure you use heavier curtains to cut as many draughts as possible from creeping inside.
5) Improve Radiator Efficiency
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to bleed your radiators, as trapped air can often make them inefficient.As well as that, another way to make them work a bit harder for you, is to install reflectors. Radiator reflectors work on a very simple principle. You radiator radiates heat both into the room, and into the wall behind it. That heat can simply be lost to the outside, especially if you have thin single skin walls. Reflectors are installed behind the radiator and help prevent that heat from being lost by reflecting the heat back into the room. You can buy reflectors relatively cheap, and its a DIY job that pretty much anyone can tackle.
6) Roll out the Winter Duvet
Heavier Duvets are a must now that the colder nights are rolling in and there’s nothing better than getting into a nice warm bed and snuggling down for a cosy nights sleep. Whilst some of us may simply opt to turn the heating up, that costs money in the long run, and you may be better opting to purchase a new winter duvet instead. Winter Duvets range from 13.5 to around 10 tog, although all seasons duvets (9 tog and a 4.5 clipped together) can be a good in between solution if you want something that you can throw off when it gets warmer again.
7) Cover Your Floors
Rugs don’t just add a splash of colour to your room, they can help keep them warm too. Floors account for as much as 10% of heat loss if they’re not insulated, so if you have bare floors, rug them up to keep the house warm as well as keeping your toes snuggly.