Winter can be an expensive time for homeowners who have not taken steps to prepare their residence for the season. Freezing draughts can find their way through the slightest gaps, and warmth inside can be easily conducted through inefficiently insulated walls.
These problems place a strain on your heating system and consequently impose costs in the long-term. By investing a little time and money into mitigating them, you might end up avoiding these costs over time. Moreover, improvements of this sort tend to add to the home’s resale value.
Let’s look at a few of the steps you might take to make your home fit for the season!
Preventing heat from escaping should be a priority. This is achieved in several different ways, but the principle remains the same: you’re putting a barrier between your home’s interior and exterior. This might come in the form of cavity wall insulation or the form of extra sheets of insulation in your loft. The latter tends to be more effective in terms of limiting costs; since heat rises, much of the energy we lose ends up escaping through our roofs. This is especially true in semi-detached and terraces properties.
During winter, you’re likely to have your lights on for far longer than you do in summer. Replacing older halogen bulbs with efficient LED alternatives can therefore be hugely consequential. Make the investment in the parts of your home that you’re regularly using for maximum benefit; that might mean kitchens and lounges.
During winter, your boiler is under additional strain. Therefore, it is more vulnerable to breakdown. And when the weather is cold outside, this problem can be disastrous. Having cover in place will allow you to get boiler care when you need it. You don’t want to have to look for repairs when the problem is urgent. The warranty that comes with your boiler might be conditional on getting the boiler serviced annually; doing so will reduce the likelihood of a problem occurring in the first place, so make sure you make an appointment.
Doors and windows are a common source of drafts. In many cases, these drafts are difficult to isolate without the air of a specialized laser-thermometer or a heat-sensitive camera. Check for them regularly, particularly in parts of the house that seem colder than they should be.
Once identified, the drafts might be addressed. Windows can be re-sealed. Doors can be treated to new compression-strips to prevent warm air from escaping. In some cases, it might be worth replacing the door entirely – this might provide thermal benefits as well as security ones.
Curtains are an underappreciated means of trapping heat. Go for a heavy blackout lining on the rear, and you’ll prevent the air in the room from circulating with the cold air behind the window. Ensure that you draw the curtains in the evenings and open them in the mornings; this will allow you to benefit from solar heat gain in the daytime.