Friday, 5 February 2016

Simple Tips for Keeping out the Cold This Winter

It’s no fun at all when the wind is howling outside, the rain is driving, or you are shivering in sub-zero temperatures. Hopefully your home is warm and cozy, but if like many people you have to live with drafts and chills, here are a few simple tips to help you keep the cold out this winter – without spending a fortune.

Block Drafts

Drafts are the main reason why a home feels cold, even if there is some form of heating in place. Cold air will always find a way in through cracks and crevices, so the best way to keep the cold out is to seal up any drafts. This can be done in a number of ways.

·         Heavy drapes are good for blocking drafts from old windows. Pull them shut at night and keep the heat in and the cold out.
·         Draft excluders are great for doors with gaps at the bottom. You can buy a draft excluder, or make your own from an old pair of nylons stuffed with bits of fabric or cushion filler.
·         Badly fitted doors can be draft-proofed with special strips available from all good DIY stores.
·         Draft sealant is useful if you have numerous cracks and crevices around doors and windows. Flexible sealant will work in small cracks – keeping the damp and drafts out nicely. Most flexible sealants can be painted over once the sealant has dried out completely, so it won’t stand out.
·         Use thick rugs to block drafts from wooden floors.

Get Your Boiler Serviced

A common reason why homes are far colder than they should be over winter is because the boiler isn’t working as it should be. It is advisable to have a central heating boilerserviced at least once a year to prevent faults and general wear and tear from affecting its performance. An annual service will also ensure your boiler is not dangerous in any way.

Install a Log Burner

Nothing beats the heat from an open fire. The trouble is, open fires are extremely inefficient whe
 it comes to heating a room. They look lovely, but the majority of the heat disappears up the chimney, which is great for the birds, but not so great for you.

A log burner is a better solution. You can burn kiln dried firewood, sourced from a local supplier, or chop up old logs and burn those all winter. Alternatively, upgrade to a multi-fuel stove and burn anthracite for a greater heat output. Stoves are not too expensive to buy and as long as you have a fully functioning chimney, they are easy to install.

Anyone with deeper pockets can easily make their home warmer in the winter by beefing up energy efficiency measures. Installing double glazing, increasing the level of insulation in the attic and other such strategies are all effective, albeit expensive. Another way to keep warm in the winter is to wear more clothes, so next time your kids complain that the house is cold, tell them to move around more or throw on an extra jersey.

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