Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
It might seem strange to be thinking about winter at the tail-end of summer’s heat but for home-owners keen to budget for the improvements needed to get your home ready to face the impending winter chill, it makes sense to be prepared.
With increases in energy prices always in the headlines, a growing number of families struggle to heat their homes effectively – and efficiently – and that can mean wasted money and an unhealthy home.
The good news is that there are lots of easy ways to ensure your home is as warm as toast for the winter months ahead, without turning up your heating (and your heating bill).
Homes with double-glazed windows have the best possible insulation to keep temperatures steady but if you don’t have the luxury of that, you can still hold on to heat in your home – simply by closing blinds and curtains before the sun goes down. Just be sure to keep them open during the daylight hours though. If you have curtains hanging in your windows, ensuring they are thick and of good quality, is another way to help your home feel warmer. Investing in curtain lining adds an extra layer to keep things cosy – perfect for cold days and nights.
The trend towards open-plan living isn’t great for saving energy but if there are doors you can close, shut them to keep the heat where it is needed, in the rooms being used and lived in. Stopping draughts under doors is another way to help minimise the escape of heat that can see your energy bills soar. It doesn’t cost a lot to buy a decorative door snake, or, if you are on a tight budget, using a rolled-up towel can do the same trick.
Small cracks will eventually lead to bigger ones and if you’ve got gaps around your home’s doors and windows, the cold wind has a way of getting in – just like your precious heat has a way of getting out.
Insulating strips don’t cost a fortunate and can save you lots in reduced energy bills. Keep an eye out for other potential heat leaks, such as uncovered keyholes in old homes, as well as doggy doors, cat flaps and letterboxes leading straight into a door.
For unused fireplaces, close the flue.
When it comes to air vents, though, it’s critical you keep them uncovered to reduce the risk of potentially deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dirty ducted heating vents are not only stopping heat from flowing efficiently – they are also putting your health at risk. If you are a tenant, talk to your real estate agent about getting the vents cleaned professionally. If you are a landlord or home-owner, don’t scrimp on this expense, as clean heating vents are safer for both the resident and the environment.
Without flooring insulation, floors are responsible for significant amounts of heat loss in Australian homes.
Check and seal gaps between floorboards and skirting boards by using a silicone-based sealant designed for the job. Wooden floorboards without carpets can be covered up in winter for better insulation and taking it one step further by adding some throw rugs to the couch not only looks stylish – it feels snuggly too.
Gas and electrical appliances that have been unused for the summer months should always be checked for safety by a professional before use in winter. This is about much more than simply saving a few dollars from your energy bill – it’s about staying alive. By checking all your energy-providing appliances, you can look forward to a happy, healthy winter ahead.
If you want access to money for home improvements, talk to our loan experts at Loans Actually today.