Facing the soaring energy prices, you may be worried about the coming winter and anxious to look into different ways to get your home warmer without raising the utility cost. As up to 80% of heat can be lost through a combination of a house’s roof, walls and floors, insulating your home is certainly one of the most effective ways to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency in the long run. However, if you don’t have the budget, or you are renting and not allowed to make substantial changes, here are 10 easy ways that can help get your home warmer in winter.
Get your boiler serviced
The most obvious way to warm up your house is using a heater. So, first of all, you need to make sure it’s running properly and efficiently in order to provide the best result. It’s recommended to have your boiler serviced at least once a year, preferably before the winter, so as to ensure you can get home warmer in the cold season.
Use a programmable thermostat
It allows you to schedule and adjust the temperature throughout the day, making the most of your heater. For example, you may lower the temperature at night to save your energy cost when you are able to keep warm in bed with your blankets.
In case your thermostat is not that smart, just setting the timer could already help. Instead of turning the thermostat up to warm the house quickly, it’d be better setting the heater on earlier. It is estimated that turning the thermostat down by just one degree can save up to 10% on your bill!
Rearrange your furniture to get your home warmer
Avoid placing large pieces of furniture, such as a sofa, in front of your radiators. This is because they will absorb heat and prevent heat from travelling around the house.
You should neither block nor put things on a radiator. However, putting a shelf above your radiator, especially if you have high ceilings, can help distribute the heat more evenly in the room. The shelf, acting like a shield, can stop the hot air from rising up directly to the ceiling.
Also, adding a radiator reflector – a thin sheet or foil – to the wall behind your radiator could further improve its efficiency. This is because the reflector can reduce heat loss to the wall by reflecting the radiant heat. Here is a video showing how to install a radiator reflector.
Bleed your radiator
Another thing you have to note about your radiator is whether cold spots are formed on the surface. If so, you need to bleed it. Bleeding a radiator releases air trapped inside that stops the warm water from properly circulating the device. Doing this regularly helps keep your heating system running more effectively.
Check here to see how to bleed a radiator. It’s simple and can be done even you are not a DIY person. But it takes around 15 minutes to bleed each single radiator. Get prepared if you have a number of them at home that you need to bleed.
Make good use of your curtain
Curtains could help protect your house from losing heat through windows and keep the cold out. The thicker (and heavier), the better.
But remember to keep your blinds and curtains open during the day to let the sunlight in and enjoy the free heat. Use black or dark materials as they will absorb more sunlight. Don’t forget to close the curtains as soon as dusk falls so as to retain heat.
DIY double glazing
Double glazed windows are heat-efficient but it is costly to call in the experts to fit new double glazing to your entire house. Instead, more and more people are looking at ways to upgrade their glazing on a DIY basis. It could be as simple as attaching a film to the window frame using double-sided tape to imitate the effect. There are different methods shared by people on the Internet.
Block your chimney
It’s now fairly common to have fireplaces that are merely decorative. But an open chimney can result in unwanted draughts and heat loss. Block the chimney if you don’t use your fireplace. There are several ways to do this, and you can choose blocking the chimney permanently or temporarily. You can do it by yourself or call a professional. You can learn more from the web.
Add rugs on the floor
Uninsulated floors can account for up to 10% of heat loss, according to the National Energy Foundation. The ground can get cold during winter especially if you have hardwood floors, or tile, vinyl or laminate flooring. A rug could act as a layer of insulation, and help retain heat in the space more efficiently to keep your house and your feet warm.
Place draught excluders under your doors and windows
Check your windows and doors and see whether there are gaps in the frame which allow draughts to move freely. Seal these gaps with draught excluders. They are long thin cloth sacks like bean bags. You can sew one using scrap fabrics and fill them with dried peas or rice – simply making them heavy enough to stay in place. Otherwise, there are lots of stylish designs available at store.
Close your doors
Make sure some interior doors such as those leading to hallways are kept shut. It can prevent cold air moving in and contain the heat you have generated in the small area you stay.
There are plenty of small things you can do to stay warm this winter. Don’t overlook the small details. Even making a cup of hot chocolate, wearing thermal socks and utilizing more blankets can make things different.
In addition to the physical need to keep warm in the cold season, it is essential to maintain our psychological well-being during winter. Learn how to beat winter blues from another article.