we once again find ourselves with a need to warm our homes to stay comfortable as it gets colder and colder outside. Heating can be a big energy consumer, and can also be expensive if you own a large house. Alternatively, if you use firewood or gas heating, you are contributing directly to global warming through the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide. While it is always going to be necessary to warm your house sometimes, especially if you live in colder climates, it is important to do what you can to reduce your energy use due to heating. Here are 12 easy ways to keep your house warmer this winter:
- Close the curtains – A huge amount of heat escapes via radiation into the external environment. Since your windows are the thinnest part of your house, they provide the most direct and easiest route for heat to escape. By closing the curtains, you are effectively placing a layer of insulation over the windows and cutting back on the amount of heat leaving your house¹.
- Hang things on your walls – As thick as they may be, your walls will also conduct heat away from the interior of the house towards the colder exterior. By hanging things on your walls – simple posters, framed pictures, or any other wall hangings – you are creating a extra layer of insulation¹.
- Cover your front door – Once again, covering things reduces the conductive heat loss. It is especially important to cover any doors leading outside, as they will often contain small gaps leading that let the warmer internal air directly exchange with the cooler outside air¹.
- Use aluminium foil to direct heat – If you use radiators, and especially if they are attached to external walls, a lot of heat will escape in directions you don’t want it to. By covering the wall behind your radiator with aluminium foil you can prevent this heat loss by ensuring it will be reflected back into the room².
- Close the doors to empty rooms – This is common sense, but it is amazing how many people use large amounts of energy to warm empty rooms which they don’t even use².
- Cover your floors – A lot of heat can be lost through bare floors. Cover wooden floors with rugs and blankets, and close the doors into your bathrooms and other rooms with tiled floors².
- Use a filler to fill gaps in wooden floors – If your floors contain small gaps or cracks – which many do – even more heat will be lost. You can fill these gaps with specially designed silicon based fillers and cut back on the need to heat².
- Install pelmets above your curtains – Pelmets are covers which block the gap between the curtain rod and the wall above a window. It is amazing how much heat can be lost through such a small gap, and how much energy you can save by installing pelmets³.
- Insulate your hot water pipes – While this won’t directly warm your house, it will reduce your heating costs by reducing the amount of energy lost between the hot water system and your taps³.
- Wear warm clothes – As simple as this sounds, it is something which is often forgotten by people! Rather than wearing summer pyjamas and trying to warm your entire house, wear warmer clothes like ugg boots, a furry jumper, and tracksuit pants. This means that you won’t have to warm your house to nearly the same temperature and will greatly reduce heating costs³.
- Let the sun in during the day – While it is important that you close your curtains at night, it is equally important to open them during the day! The sun is a huge source of thermal energy, and by letting it shine into your house you can reduce the amount of warming that is needed at night³.
- Use flannel sheets – Swapping your light cotton summer sheets for heavier flannel ones will keep you much warmer at night, meaning you won’t need to heat as much⁴.
Good luck and stay warm this winter!