The dropping autumn leaves, dark, frosty mornings and influx of this season’s winterwear emails have given us fair warning, and right on cue, winter has arrived. The smoke billowing from chimneys and sock boots on the streets suggest we are feeling the chill (and that we’ve checked our emails). Winter can certainly be a time where the bills skyrocket and you can’t seem to keep the inside of your home – or yourself – warm for the life of you. So what can we do to maximise the warmth in our homes and minimise the bills?
Depending on your situation and heating systems of course, here are some suggestions for surviving the (not quite) sub-temperatures.
Put some clothes on
Let’s start with the obvious, yet oh-so effective. As nice-a-feeling as it would be to crank the heater and swan through every open room of the house in your underwear pretending you’re Tom Cruise, it’s not the most resourceful way to heat your home. And who doesn’t love rugging up from head-to-toe in the comfiest of thermals, jumpers, soft scarves and uggies?
Shut the front door (…and all the others)
Rather than the pricey and timely exercise of trying to heat every nook and cranny, close the doors to all the rooms you’re not using and keep the heat in the kitchen/living areas you utilise the most. Make sure it stays there by using some door snakes or draft stoppers – or rolled up towels! Seal up any of those gaps around doors with a cheap trip to the hardware store.
Never fear – flannelette is here!
Bedrooms often get closed off from that glorious heat until we jump into bed to go to sleep. By switching your Egyptian cotton to flannelette sheets, your bed will be all the more warm and snuggly for those long winter nights. Down quilts, cosy throws and maybe the dog or cat can also be welcome warming additions.
Let there be light
When the sun is beaming down on those glorious winter days, let it in! Open up your curtains and blinds to allow as much natural light and warmth in as possible, then close them as soon as the sun sets to retain the heat you’ve let in throughout the day.
Snug as a bug in a rug
You know the saying, and it ain’t no lie! Floors can account for 10-15% of heat loss if they’re not insulated. So if lush carpet doesn’t grace the floors of your abode, rugs can be brilliant in adding comfort and acting as a plush padding between your tootsies and the floor.
If your couch is by a window, you might think about moving it against a wall or to somewhere more central in the room. Being near glass can cause radiant heat loss from your body. Try to avoid armchairs or couches in front of radiators as well – they absorb all of that heat rather than letting it circulate around the room.
For those of us who can afford it, lasting solutions will make a big difference in the long run. The bank account might take a beating in the short term, but ultimately your hip pocket will thank you for it. Roof and wall insulation is the best way to keep heat inside in winter – and out in summer, meaning you’ll save a bundle on energy bills all year round. Double-glazed windows are also super efficient, but if you’re waiting to win the lotto, you might consider a double-glazing film at about a third of the cost.
With the home heating under control, now we can kick back and enjoy some fine South Australian red, crackling fires, slow cooked meals and all the other sumptuous treats winter seduces us to indulge in.