It’s really cold outside and although I do love the snow I don’t like the temperature it brings with it particularly when it comes with an icy cold wind. If you are struggling to keep your home warm this winter it could be worth investing in a few home improvements to help keep your home warm efficiently and effectively. I had a little brainstorm and have made a note of twelve ways to add more warmth to your home as I thought you guys might find it useful.
(Photo credit: Pixabay)
Upgrade Your Boiler
Your boiler is the heart of your home’s heating. You should replace your boiler ideally every fifteen years. After this point many boilers start to deteriorate and become less efficient. Many modern boilers are very economical. If you haven’t already got a combi-boiler then this could be a good first start. These boilers don’t have a tank and heat up water on demand when it is needed. This is ideal if you have a power shower, as you won’t run out of hot water whilst using it. It’s best too shop around for high efficiency boilers with a good warranty. Which? brand scores can be useful to look at too.
Install New Radiators
Many modern radiators are able to produce far much more heat than older versions whilst using up less energy. It could be worth replacing your radiators for newer more efficient ones especially if you suspect them to be over fifteen years old. Radiators have started to take on more stylish designs in recent years such as these designer radiators. There are also dual-purpose radiators that serve as towel warmers or clothes racks (many old radiators may be unsuitable for hanging clothes on and could pose a fire risk).
Install Underfloor Heating
(Photo credit: Pexels)
Underfloor heating is becoming more commonly adopted in households as a way of keeping wooden and ceramic floors warm. These flooring choices can often suck away heat and installing underfloor heating can prevent this. We have underfloor heating in the bathroom where it is well suited as it helps water that has collected on the floor (especially when the children or my husband have a bath) to dry up more quickly and prevent mould forming. You’re best off using a specialist company to install this heating system rather than attempting to DIY it – I’m talking from experience!
Double Glaze Your Windows
Double-glazing is expensive to install but effective at trapping in heat and keeping out cold air. In the long run it could help to cut down your heating bills massively. Triple-glazing is also possible and suited for windows that are often exposed to high winds. For those on a budget or living in a rented property there is a DIY solution that involves placing an insulating plastic film over the window. It’s not as effective as double glazing but will reduce heat loss significantly and cut those dreaded bills.
Hang Up Thick Curtains
Another way of insulating your windows is to simply hang up thick curtains. There are many winter curtains out there with a thermal layering that can help to prevent heat loss. These are often affordable and could be almost as effective as double glazing when closed. Make sure that these curtains aren’t hung over radiators as this could stop heat circulating around the room.
(Photo credit: Pexels)
Let The Sun In During The Day
It makes sense to close your curtains at night for privacy to block out streetlights and to insulate your home. However, you should open the curtains open during the day. Even on the coldest winter days getting sunlight into your home will help to heat it up and also acts as a natural antibacterial.
Add Draft Protectors
If your home suffers from drafts under gaps in doors or cracks in windows it could be worth investing in draft protectors. The most common type is draft excluders which slot under doors and can be very effective. You can also buy weather seals and brushes that can be fitted onto the inside of door frames and window frames blocking any cracks when these doors and windows are shut. Draft protectors are almost always cheap and can usually be bought from your local home DIY store.
Insulate Your Loft
About 25% of heat loss is likely to be through an uninsulated roof. Loft insulation isn’t cheap although pricing has come down a lot over the years and you’re likely to swiftly make up costs once you have it installed. It’s possible to insulate your home yourself by buying rolls of mineral wool or loose fill insulation like vermiculite. This loose-fill insulation can be easily fitted between joists although you should make sure that you’re wearing safety equipment during installation (googles, gloves, a disposable mask and disposable overalls) as those that have used fibreglass will be aware that when comes in contact with the skin can cause irritation and should not under any circumstances be breathed in. Blown-fibre insulation is another method that must be carried out by a professional. It’s quicker to install but more expensive. There are other methods of insulation involving sheets fitted on the actual roof. It could be worth talking to a loft insulation specialist about your options as they will be able to find the best option to suit your pocket and style of property.
Install Cavity Wall Insulation
A third of heat loss is thought to be through uninsulated walls. The way to combat this is by investing in cavity wall insulation. Your home should have a gap between the brick and inside wall. By blowing fibre insulation into this gap the walls become much more resistant to heat loss as well as helping to prevent drafts. Cavity wall insulation is an expensive job and not really something you can do yourself. The likes of wood panelling can provide a certain level of insulation but this isn’t to everyone’s taste.
Install Underfloor Insulation
10% of heat loss meanwhile is thought to be through the floor. This can be prevented by adding insulation beneath the floorboards on the ground floor or in the cellar. This type of insulation relies on the same materials used for loft insulation and cavity-wall insulation. This is recommended in old homes with exposed original floorboards. Of course an easy and obvious way to insulate floors could be to lay down carpet but these may not be suited in the kitchen and bathroom for due to hygiene reasons.
Make Use Of Insulated Foil
Insulated foil is a great DIY insulating material that can be used around the house to help trap in heat. One trick that many homeowners can easily try is adding this onto the wall behind a radiator as this reflects the heat back into the room and can stop heat being lost through the wall. I remember my parents having a sliver reflective sheet behind their radiators years ago.
Fill Up Holes / Cracks In Walls
Many homes have holes or cracks in the walls. These could be letting hot air escape or letting cold drafts in. The easiest way to fill many small cracks and holes is with caulk. Bigger cracks may need more serious work and it could be worth calling in a surveyor to see if they pose a structural risk. Cracks and holes may be caused by pests such as mice or termites depending on where in the world you live. It’s worth getting rid of any infestation first and then blocking up holes otherwise more will simply appear in the future. A pest control service will be able to come up with a solution to get rid of these.
That’s all the tips I have for you guys. I hope you found this useful. Are there any of these that you might look into doing at home?
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