Do-it-yourself, cheap draught stripping can be purchased at local hardware stores. Seal gaps around the outer edges of door and window frames with caulking.
In winter, try to keep your curtains open during the day to make the most of the sun’s heat, especially north and west facing windows. Then close them at sunset to prevent the heat escaping overnight. You might want to leave south facing windows covered on cold days however to limit the amount of heat loss, as these don’t capture any direct sunlight.
In every home there are areas that we utilise everyday and some that we rarely visit. When trying to heat up a home there’s no point wasting energy heating up rooms that are rarely used. Where possible shut off parts of the house by closing doors and windows to ensure that you only heat the parts you need. Where no doors exist, consider installing curtains or petitions to section off unused spaces.
We each carry around our own little food-powered engines and heaters inside our bodies that “burn off” a little heat energy when we move around. When we generate more heat than we are getting rid of we feel hot; and we feel cooler when we are losing more heat than we generate.
How warm you feel depends on a combination of body heat generated during physical activity, the surrounding air temperature, humidity and “wind-chill” factor, how fast you allow this heat to escape (by layers of clothing) and any radiated heat.
Personal comfort varies greatly between individuals, but our bodies naturally adapt to the seasons and outdoor temperature each day. You may be comfortable at indoor temperatures of around 18°C during winter and acclimatise to around 25°C during summer.
Clothing helps reduce heat loss and maintain body temperature so dress appropriately and consider lightweight blankets for watching TV. Keeping active is good for your well-being and also generates body heat. Even walking around your home during an ad break will help make you feel warmer.
Insulation acts as a barrier to heat loss and gain. In many homes insulation is the most practical and cost effective way to make a house more energy efficient, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
The cheapest and easiest areas to insulate are windows. Window coverings insulate the room by trapping an air pocket between the window and covering. Curtains which extend below the window frame and have fully enclosed pelmets work best. Close fitting top-down bottom-up honeycomb blinds offer an excellent alternative to curtains.
Ceilings are the second priority for insulation as they are a significant source of heat loss. Contact a certified insulation installer for information and advice on your home.
Floorboards promote air leakage and heat loss. Carpets are a great option to insulate a floor. Area rugs are another good option as you can put them away in summer when you want a cooler floor surface. However, be aware of your rug placement as these can be a trip hazard. For under floor insulation installation contact a certified installer.