Service Your Heater
Prior to winter arriving, it’s advisable to get your heating system serviced by a professional. Your heat source will dictate who will be required to service it. If you use a fireplace and timber as your home’s heating source, arrange for a professional chimney sweep to visit and service the flu and chimney to avoid any unwanted fire. If you’re in need of a completely new heating system, grab some advice here, or browse heating options here.
When renovating your home, efficient insulation in the walls and roof is a must for any dwelling. By not doing so will leave you vulnerable to not only inadequate heating in the winter but insufficient cooling in the summer. Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria has a terrific information sheet on insulation types for your home or weekender or rental property.
Window Coverings to keep the cold out
Interior window coverings such as curtains and blinds are not only a visual focal point for your room, they serve as a great insulator to help reduce heat loss from your room and trap warmth. This in turn not only assists you in saving money on power bills but also reduces your impact on the environment. On the overcast, cold days be sure to close your window coverings. However, on those occasional lovely sunny winter days, make the most of the glorious sunshine and radiant heat, by opening your curtains or blinds that are sun facing. Although these may sound like small, obvious things to do, they will help to minimize the need to solely rely upon your heating system.
Reverse Ceiling Fans in Winter
Reversible ceiling fans have a two-way mode, which reverses the direction that the fan operates. In summer, your ceiling fan rotates in an anti-clockwise direction, creating a cool downward airflow. In winter, as the hot air rises, the fan needs to rotate in a clockwise direction. This will then push the rising warm air back down from the top of the ceiling to where you are in the room helping to keep you feeling warmer.
Reduce Draft from Windows & Doors
It seems so obvious but draft-proofing a house is an easy way to keep your house warmer this winter, and it’s often overlooked. The easiest way is to close any internal doors to rooms that you are not using and don’t need to be heated, for example, a spare room, the guest room. Bathrooms are the easy room to shut off, as they often are poorly insulated and have permanently open windows. The next easy option is to use items like a fabric snake or under door seals to prevent the warm air from escaping or, the cool air coming in. The same with windows – if there are gaps use weatherstrip or foam tape to seal up. And then don’t forget to make sure the windows are all closed.
Add some great mood lighting, scented candles and floor and desk lamps and your home will immediately feel warmer and cozier. The addition of dimmers to existing lighting can also help create warmth and is great for entertaining as it helps create a mood of relaxation. Soft furnishings like cashmere throws on couches also add to the overall warmth of a room.