We can put on some extra layers of clothing outside, but nobody wants to sit inside in their winter jacket. So in order to defeat winter it is important to keep our homes nice and toasty. To do that we have to fix insulation from top to bottom but also update our heating systems. Technology can provide some extra help as apps can be used to control your heating remotely. We have listed a few easy tips on how to beat winter in its own game.
1. Insulate throughout
Before you jump onto using some hacks to warm up your home, check on the current insulation of your home. Though smaller hacks can, and will, help, mending your isolation is crucial.
Check on the state of your walls, roof and floors, especially around windows and doors. You can install the insulation material yourself or by calling in the pros.
Don’t be too quick to choose your insulation material. You can choose among the more conventional materials like fiberglass or mineral wool, but you can also opt for DIY materials like cardboard and paper or you can use some other recyclable material.
2. Tin foil between walls and radiators
If your home is already insulated or you are not in the position to renovate your isolation, there are tricks to help you out. One is to place a tin foil on a wall behind the radiator. Tin foils are made from aluminum so they don’t store the heat from the radiators, but actually, they reflect the heat away from the wall and into the room.
Kitchen foil can do the trick, but you might also consider a foil specifically used for this purpose as it produces better results.
3. Check your windows
No matter how much you try and insulate your walls, if your windows are not insulated enough you will still lose heat considerably. You can remove the old ones and replaced them with PVC or double glazed windows.
But since recently windows have an even more amazing use than insulation. Today we have something called solar glazing. Basically windows today can be used to generate electricity and thus help us to power our house from a natural renewable source.
4. Heavy and thick curtains
During the day, the sunlight heats up your house through your windows but at night windows become just another way for heat to escape through. For this reason, you should draw your curtains in the evening.
The choice of curtain material is quite important and the best examples include thick and heavy materials like velvet, tapestry and suede. They are much better at insulating than, for example, cotton or linen, which are great curtain materials for warmer months.
5. Deal with the draught
Despite covering your walls with isolation materials and covering up your windows at night with heavy curtains, there might still be places through which heat might escape.
Some cracks and openings are caused by time and weather, like those around windows. These can usually be easily sealed by applying silicone rubber sealant. However, the trickier ones are the holes built in your house, including loft hatches, keyholes and letterbox openings.
These built-in openings require more creativity as you probably still want them to remain open, yet covered. In that case, you can use simple covers that can be moved or taken off when not needed.
6. Seal the chimney
It is not enough to deal with small creaks and nooks especially if you have a bigger problem like the chimney. We ignore the fact that fireplaces are more decorative nowadays and they are seldom used. In the meantime, heat keeps escaping through them.
And if you don’t wish to seal it forever you can use a fireplace plug. It is inflatable and will completely cover your chimney. Just make sure you take it out before you start a fire.
7. Cover your floors
Though your floors might be isolated, with the change in temperature wood changes its form. In time it expands and contracts over and over again and in time it cracks and creates gaps between boards. These gaps can influence the level of your home’s isolation significantly.
One possibility is to seal the gaps in your hardwood floor, for narrower ones you can use fillers and for wider ones it is better to put in narrow strips of wood or rope.
Additionally, you should cover up your floors with carpets. It is an easy and smart solution for extra protection of your home.
Put in also a few fluffier rugs around the house, especially next to beds and your favorite sitting spots. It might warm your feet just a bit but it will also give you an illusion of warmth.
8. Decorate and insulate
Insulating is a necessity, not a choice, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. You can make your own draught excluders and place them under your windows and doors. Excluders look great, just like stuffed toys sitting around and they are super easy to make: cut off a leg of some tights, choose its size and stuff it with some old socks.
After the winter is over and the sun shows it’s face, don’t throw away all of those winter curtains and excluders. Instead, keep them somewhere safe like in your basement or in an attic. Self-storage is another great solution since storages are nowadays secure, modern and will save you a lot of precious space. For example, I know for sure that Sydney storage unit is safe, always available option and you can easy find something similar in your area too.
9. Let your radiators breathe
While you are checking your walls, remember to also check the state of your radiators. Keep them clean inside and out, as their cleanliness will surely influence their effectiveness. You should have them serviced, at least once a year, to maintain them properly.
Another important thing to remember when it comes to radiators is that they need room to work. Don’t place any furniture right next to them as you will also block heat from spreading throughout your room.
10. Check your boiler
While it is important to maintain your radiators and furnaces, you should also check on your boiler as another source of heat in your home. Get it regularly serviced and cleaned and have it replaced when it starts consuming more energy than it provides for. This will make your home more efficient and it will reduce your heating costs.
11. Apps – useful and convenient
Mobile phones can do almost anything instead of us nowadays. They remember phone numbers, birthdays and anniversaries. They also allow us access to the Internet anywhere we go, but can they help us with heating?
In order to save up on heating, we might choose to turn it off when we are out but who likes to come back to a freezing house? That’s right, nobody does. Here’s where your phone, or its app, helps. You can turn on heating on your way home remotely via your phone and by the time you get there, your home is nice and warm.
Using apps for heating is useful but also convenient as nobody leaves home without their phone anymore.
After you are done with these tips, there will be no more jackets inside. You will make your home winter-proof not only for this winter but many winters to come. Insulate all, walls, floors and roofs. Remember to double check your windows and doors for possible gaps. Service your appliances regularly and keep them clean so they can be as productive as possible. When it’s time to update them, do so as it is more financially but also environmentally responsible.