We are now half way through autumn (can you believe it?!), so it is time to start thinking about digging out the winter clothes, sheets and heaters. Soon our homes will be getting chilly and we will be searching for ways to keep warm. We know….”QLD doesn’t get cold”. But for us locals – there is still a big difference from summer to winter! Just putting the heater on every time the temperature in your home drops seems like the most obvious and easiest fix. This can be quite expensive however, especially if other things are not addressed. Its also not the best idea to sleep with them on. And we all want to have a warm, comfortable sleep! So what else can be done to keep your family warm over winter other than flicking the heater on?
On the couch
The first thing to remember is that your home itself will not be upset if it is not a cosy 24 degrees all the time. Your furniture won’t get the flu in the cold weather, and your ornaments will not shiver. Your family however, cares about being a comfortable temperature while relaxing at home. What we are trying to get at is to focus on warming the people before the house. Are you sitting watching tv in a singlet and summer PJ shorts and wanting to put the heater on? A throw rug over the lap may be all that you need! Of course sometimes this will not suffice but usually, in south east QLD anyway – changing to winter PJs, adding a pair of socks/slippers to your feet or grabbing a blanket (or all of the above) will keep you plenty warm on the couch at night. Even if the heater does seem like a necessity, or it really is winter coat weather – doing these small things will reduce the heat that is needed – still saving you money on electricity bills!
Stop the breeze
Another thing that is a simple yet effective thing to do that requires no money and very little time is closing up the rooms that are not in use. Also in line with this, you should seal any gaps and cracks up that may be letting cold air in from outside. This can be cracks in the walls and windows, or even the cracks that are naturally occurring underneath doors. If your front or back door has a crack from the bottom of the door panel to the floor, you can get a door snake (or a rolled up towel at a pinch) to seal it. This is yet another tip that seems like it may not do much but will definitely make a noticeable difference – especially if there is wind outside. Things like cat and dog doors can invite extra drafts also. It’s amazing how even a small draft can make a room a lot colder, so if you can cut that bit of air out it will immediately make a difference.
Get rid of cold feet
If your home is tiled or has wooden floors, placing rugs down in the main walking areas can help keep your feet and the overall room temperature warmer. Rugs can sometimes be a little pricey, but it can be worth it for that rug that you love and will have for years!
Curtains are another accessory that will keep your home warm in winter (shady and cool in summer also). Keeping them closed when the sun is not on the window will help stop the warm air escaping and cold air from outside getting in. Remember to open the curtains up however, during the day if the sun is shining in. When sunlight enters a room it is mostly ultraviolet radiation, which passes easily through glass. Once it hits an object the sunlight becomes infrared radiation or radiant heat. This doesn’t travel through glass as readily as UV radiation, so your room warms up.
Cook up a storm
Cooking is a great way to warm up the air in your home. Try cooking a roast or lasagne and you will be warming your family in more than one way! Not to mention the delicious meal you will get from it. Once you have finished with the oven and turned it off, you can leave the door open to let the hot air flow through the house (you may want to be careful with this one if you have young children).
Believe it or not, canopy beds were not just designed for decorative purposes. Another well known purpose is to keep bugs and insects out – but they were also designed to keep the heat in your bed while you sleep. Take advantage of your own heat source (your body heat and warm breath) to stay warm while you sleep. For added warmth or in case you don’t want or can’t have a canopy bed – you can sleep with a heat pack or hot water bottle. Make sure you read the safety warning before using these products. Changing to flannelette sheets and a warmer doona in winter will also make a huge difference.
A much more perminant and pricey tip that we have in insulation. Obviously if you do not own your home, you will likely not be able (or want to spend the money) to install insulation. But if you are a home owner, insulation is a very worthy investment. We will be looking at writing a blog post about the pros and cons of insulation for winter in the near future! You can also get insulating tape for your hot water pipes, this will reduce the heat loss from your hot water tank to the taps, therefore reducing the energy need to get your hot water.
Last but definitely not least, is the maintenance of your heaters. Even though we have given you all these tips thatdo not have to involve a heater – we realise it is nice to be that extra bit warm at times and that there are times where we feel like we do need it on. Doing everything we have mentioned above will lower the need for a heater and reduce the work that it will need to do. Keeping your heater in the best condition possible is another important way to do this. It will also ensure your home is safe from hazards such as electrical fires. We see the happiness and comfort of our customers as having an extremely high importance, and being warm in the winter time is very important to both our happiness and health. We believe if you take our advice on this you shouldn’t find yourself too cold in the upcoming winter months!