With winter at our doorstep, we’re already thinking about how to keep our homes warm and cozy. Switching the heating on is naturally the most common thing to do. But with that come the higher bills, too. What can we do to ensure maximum comfort at reasonable costs?
Luckily, there are some simple, yet very effective hacks to help us keep warm through the cold winter months.
Check for leaks and gaps
Do a thorough inspection of your home and make it ready for cold weather.
Check for possible leaks and drafts from doors and windows. If any, seal these off to keep warm air from leaking out and cold air from streaming in. You can use various dedicated sealants, or make your own draft-stoppers.
Make also sure that the walls are properly insulated. Good insulation will keep the interior warm, and will also balance the outside-inside temperature difference.
Check the condition of the entire home heating system, so that it can run properly. High settings may lead to more energy consumption, respectively to higher bills.
Dress the windows
Most windows will stay closed during the cold months, yet this may not be entirely sufficient to keep the interior warm. So, let’s dress the windows properly.
You might consider installing exterior rolling shutters. These are very effective against cold winter winds.
Add a pair of thicker window curtains inside. They effectively prevent warm air from leaking out and stop possible cold air drafts. Moreover, the new curtains will add new look and mood in the interior. But don’t forget to draw them aside during the day and let in all available sunshine streaming through the windows.
Don’t block heating appliances
Check the heating units and make sure these are free from any obstructions.
Any kind of heating appliances, be it a central heating radiator or an electric heating unit, should have enough free space around. So, move away any furniture items standing too close and preventing warm air from properly circulating in the room. Keep all heating vents free of possible blocking items, too.
If you are using air conditioners, make sure to set the vents so as to force hot air downwards. This will make the air in the room circulate and reach the desired temperature in the entire space.
Do not cover heating units with towels, blankets, or laundry. It is a bad idea to dry laundry inside, anyway!
Use your ceiling fan
Normally, fans would turn counterclockwise to create “wind” and cool the room. When selecting a ceiling fan, however, make sure it has the option of reversing the spinning direction to clockwise. This will push the light hot air down and will enable better air circulation in the interior space.
Cover floors and furniture with textiles
There’s nothing like snuggling under a soft fluffy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day or evening! So, it’s time to take out the winter textiles – wool blankets, flannel fleece and knitted throws, fluffy cushion covers, furry rugs. These will create a most comfortable and cozy ambiance in the interior, especially on wooden floors and leather furniture.
Cook more often
In cold weather people tend to spend more time indoors and enjoy family time together more than ever. Maybe that’s where the unique charm of winter comes from! It is also perhaps the best time to cook, bake and broil delicious meals for everyone.
Apart from the scrumptious smells and flavors filing the entire room and getting everybody together, there’s one more thing to benefit from. Turned on stove and oven radiate a lot of heat, too. So, take advantage, and:
- try to cook when everyone is at home, so that they can enjoy both, aromas and warmth;
- leave the oven open after taking out the baked dish; the heat will additionally warm up the room;
In case you’re lucky to have a fireplace with live open fire, you should definitely use it, even if your home is actually heated by central heating system. Keep the fire on as long as possible, or at least leave a few hot embers still glowing there. This will not only additionally warm the interior space, but will also let everyone enjoy a supreme relaxing experience.