Unless you live somewhere that is warm all year round, chances are you have invested in heating your home in winter. However you choose to heat your home, the last thing you want to be doing is losing precious heat without realising it! Lets say you lose 10% of your heating generation each day, it wouldn't take long for that cost to add each year. Can you afford to waste that cash? Perhaps a little investment early on, or even just a few minutes of your time can save you money long term. Here are ten tips from Degrees Ahead to help you think about keeping your home warm this winter when considering your heating choices.
1. Use thicker curtains to stop heat escaping from windows
Up to 40 per cent of the heat escaping from your home in winter is from uncovered windows. Heavy, lined curtains which extend below the window frame will insulate your windows and help keep the warmth in. You may also like to consider double glazing or if budget is tight, DIY insulation film.
2. Install insulation in your house (or top up old and thinning insulation)
A well insulated house can use as much as 45% less energy for heating and cooling, which means that insulation pays for itself in cheaper bills. With energy prices set to rise, installing insulation now is a smart way of avoiding excessive bills in the future. Not sure about which insulation is best? Check out your insulation options and see to if you qualify for funding.
3. Seal up gaps and cracks that let the cold air in.
In your average character home, if you added up all the cracks and gaps, it would be the equivalent of having a 1 metre by 1.5 metre window open all the time. They can account for 15 – 25 percent of heat loss in your home. Seal up cracks and gaps using weather stripping around doors and windows, gap filler for cracks in the walls and even a simple door snake for the bottom of the door. You can buy all of these things at your Mitre 10 fairly cheaply.
4. Install pelmets on top of your windows
These are boxes which sit over your curtain rod and prevent cold air coming in to your room. If you don’t have them, a cheap alternative is to stick a draught snake, heavy blanket or towel on top of your curtain rod. Check Spotlight or any curtain supplier to see what is available.
5. Watch the temperature
Heat the rooms you are using to around 20ºC in winter, a comfortable temperature for most people. If you don't have a programmable thermostat on your heater, place a thermometer in your living area to keep an eye on the temperature.
6. Close off any rooms that are not in use
Furniture can't feel the cold so why waste energy heating areas that you're not using. And don’t leave your heater or cooling system running all night or while you’re out. Turn it off or install a timer.
7. Let the sunshine in during the day
If you have any north facing windows, open up their curtains when it is sunny to let the sun heat up your house for you.
8. Insulate hot water pipes
Wrap external hot water pipes with simple lagging (insulating tape) to reduce the heat loss from your hot water tank to the taps, and reduce the energy needed to get your hot water. It can be bought cheaply from your local hardware shop.
9. If you can’t heat the room, heat yourself
If you can’t insulate your room or block draughts, it will be hard to heat the whole room, especially with a small electric heater. In this case you are better off sitting near the heater, so it at least keeps you warm. Or you could invest in one in a Degrees Ahead Heat Pump and stay warm all winter!
10. Maintain your heaters
Getting your heater serviced professionally at least every two years will keep it running more efficiently. Keeping heaters free of dust and cleaning any filters regularly will also help. Or if you're in the market for a new one, see the Degrees Ahead range of Heat Pumps.