How to Make Your House Warmer for Winter
Winter never seems to be too far away – whether it has just passed or fast approaching, it is a time when the temperatures outside can plummet to levels well below freezing at times, meaning it is extremely vital to keep your property as warm as possible.
There can be some confusion as to how best to keep your house warm, and indeed the problems and solutions can vary from home to home. There are however some more consistently effective methods of conserving heat in the colder months that have proved popular up and down the country.
This guide will take a look at some of the most effective changes you can make to your property in order to make it warmer for longer. Some are more cost-effective methods, while others may prove expensive and require a lot of work to install or apply – however, all have been proven to have a positive effect on property heat conservation, so read on to discover ideas that may well work for you.
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Ways to Stay Warm This Winter
Of course, the go-to solution for many who feel the cold in their home during the winter is to invest in their heating, buying new radiators, upgrading their systems, and more. However, it is not always necessary to carry out a full revamp of your home heating, and some less drastic measures can work just as well.
For example, turning on your heating earlier but at a lower temperature will often prove to be lower in cost, yet just as effective, as turning the heat up as and when you decide you need it. Boilers will always heat at the same speed no matter which temperature you desire, so it is best to get it working towards a good temperature beforehand.
For more modern households, it may be a good idea to install various heating controls and radiator valves, which will give you far more control over your heating system. By programming your heating to initiate at pre-selected times, you are unlikely to lose excess heat when you don’t need it. Nowadays, there are even ‘smart’ versions of these devices, which can be operated remotely via phone app, giving you even more control.
Sometimes, a bigger change is needed, particularly if your equipment is old. A rule of thumb amongst many homeowners is that, if your boiler is more than 10 years old, then you should be looking into potentially getting it replaced. Newer boilers, among other benefits, tend to use up far less energy and, like the aforementioned heating controls, are often more technologically advanced, giving you more control over their operation.
You could also look into getting a masonry stove, which are stoves in which you can start a fire that will heat the masonry around a heater. This masonry efficiently stores heat for many hours, with some makes able to conserve heat for almost an entire day (20 hours), meaning the heating of rooms can continue even when the fire that started the process has died away.
These are just some of the many options available to you when looking into improving or changing the way your home is heated. There are plenty of other ways too, all varying in cost, time to apply and overall effectiveness, so a lot of your decision may depend on just how severe your cold problem is!
Walls, floors and roofs can all benefit from additional or improved insulation, and thus your entire property will too. Insulating the roof is especially important, as properties stand to lose up to a quarter of their heat through it if not efficiently insulated, due to the fact that heat rises, though walls are also important to insulate, too.
Insulating any of these areas can be done by yourself or a professional.
There are plenty of different insulation options available, and they are made from different materials. Some of the most popular include fibreglass, mineral wool and natural insulation, which is usually produced from sheep wool. There are pros and cons to each different insulation material, as can be seen here in our handy guide on the subject.
Blocking out the Cold
In order to properly conserve heat, you will also have to stop the cold from coming in. There are multiple ways to do this, with one of the most effective revolving around your doorways. A huge amount of heat can leave a property by seeping through the gap between a door and its frame, and while it is simply impractical to cover up any and all gaps on the majority of doors, putting a draft excluder at the bottom of the door closes up a large area through which heat usually escapes through. These go by many names, from draught seals to draught snakes (some of which are even shaped like large snakes), but all are usually effective at stopping the draught from creeping in.
Another alternative method is to take a flannel, tea towel or regular towel and stuff it into the gap underneath your door. While this may make them fairly dirty (especially when used under front and backdoors, their effect is undeniable, with the thicker items such as towels, with many larger fibres that trap heat and block cold, working the most efficiently.
Another area cold can enter your house is through your windows. A lot of heat can escape through windows without the appropriate measure taken, so this is another great place to start when preparing your house to fend off incoming cold. Window sizes, glazing type, age and other factors can all have an impact on how well they can keep the chill away, with glazing in particular proving particularly useful. If you’re feeling the chill from your windows, perhaps look into upgrading them to a model (or models) more efficient when it comes to heat conservation. There are plenty of exceptional brands out there, with many producing windows produces specifically with this role in mind.
Carpets and Curtains
You may have noticed when going on holiday or living in warmer countries that the houses in these climates rarely if ever have carpets – most rooms will use floorboards or tiles. This is because the benefits of carpets extend beyond simply providing a more comfortable surface to walk on – they are in fact incredibly effective at conserving heat.
Curtains possess similar properties, only instead on preventing heart from leaving the floor area, they are useful at preventing heat escaping through the windows that they cover. They are far more effective when closed, so be sure to keep them closed whenever possible – this is made easier thanks to the fewer hours of sunlight winter tends to offer.
Like carpets, the thicker the curtains the more effective they will be. Interlining is often incorporated into curtains designed for heat conservation, which will work with the other fabrics of the curtain to create more layers to prevent from escaping. However, this can make it difficult to cool rooms down in the summer. Many people in this case will either open their windows or even keep two or more pairs of curtains for the different weather conditions.
The Little Things
Sometimes, it’s the simplest measures that can have the most effect, and you may well find yourself seeing fantastic results by merely wrapping up a little warmer as the colder months start to roll in. Have a warm jumper? Throw it on over a couple of other layers of clothing to get as warm as possible. Wear scarves and hats to protect your neck and head, as well as thick woollen socks, which will protect the areas of your body that often allow for the most heat to escape.
You aren’t the only thing you can protect by equipping more layers – your hot water tank can also be insulated with more layers, or its existing insulation upgraded, keeping the water within heated for longer, which will not only give you more hot water, but also save you money.
Other general strategies include moving your chairs, sofas and other furniture away from your radiator, which will allow the heat from it to spread more effectively. Also avoid drying clothes on them to feel their warmth in your home as much as possible.
These are just a few of the many ways that your home can be made warmer. There is an array of options that have been explored, with the cost of each varying. It may be that your heat problems can only be solved by a new boiler or a rework of your heating system, but it may also turn out that a simple rearranging of your living room furniture may also solve your problems! Try out some of these tips yourself, and good luck!