The British weather is definitely looking autumnal long before September. This may preempt the arrival of a cold winter, and for many homeowners, cold winter is synonymous with high energy bills. The truth is that a cosy and inviting home environment in winter typically means increasing the thermostat setting.
While this may be the obvious solution, there are numerous other tips you can use to make your winter home more comfortable without skyrocketing energy bills.
Here are 12 ideas to keep you warm this winter.
#1. Declutter for improved airflow and mood
Clutter weighs more than you think. Indeed, clutter not only disrupts the visual appeal of your living space but it can also obstruct proper airflow. As such, blocked vents and congested areas are likely to appear here and there in a cluttered home. This will impede the circulation of warm and heated air in winter, which essentially means that some rooms will be harder to warm up.
Besides, clutter also has a negative impact on your mood. It can even lead to mild or even severe depressive disorders, affecting your sleep, your appetite, and making you more sensitive to cold too. It only takes a little decluttering and organising to create a welcome atmosphere that lets the heat flow freely.
#2. Address air drafts for temperature consistency
Is your home entirely draft free? This may seem like an odd question but you’d be surprised to know that most British homes are susceptible to unpleasant drafts. Air drafts are notorious for letting cold air infiltrate your home and reducing indoor comfort. The good thing about drafts is that they are relatively easy to detect once you know what you are looking for.
First of all, you are likely to feel a draft in a heated home. However, if you are trying to spot draft on a day where the indoor and outdoor temperatures are pretty much the same, you can use the candle method instead. You won’t be able to feel cold air seeping in if the temperatures are the same. But if you place a lit candle by the windows, door, or any gap in the wall, you can observe the flame movement to spot the draft. Ideally, you want to remediate the issue ASAP by sealing gaps.
#3. Upgrade your heating systems with energy-efficient solutions
Consider replacing your conventional gas boiler with something a little more energy-efficient. Air source heat pumps, for example, use outdoor air to regulate indoor temperature efficiently and cost-effectively. They work by extracting heat from the air and transferring it into your home. This switch would not only be environmentally friendly but it would also provide consistent warmth without excessive energy consumption.
#4. Harness the power of colour psychology
The colours you select for your interior decor can influence your mood. But did you know they could also influence the temperature you perceive? Warm hues, for instance, such as reds, oranges, and earthy tones can evoke a sense of cosiness, which makes your home feel warmer. You can incorporate these colours as decor accents to create a sense of visual warmth that will instantly complement your efforts to increase indoor temperatures.
#5. Embrace underfloor heating for luxurious comfort
Underfloor heating is a fantastic addition that radiates warmth from the ground up for an even distribution of heat. The system involves installing heating elements beneath the flooring surface, which will offer a cosy sensation under the foot and effectively raise the indoor temperature. Ideally, you want to select rooms that tend to be on the colder side, such as the bathroom, to make the most of underfloor heating. This can be a highly efficient way to keep your living space warm as you can target the colder areas of your home, aka the floor in some rooms.
#6. Prioritise effective insulation
Adequate insulation is a must for maintaining indoor temperatures and reducing energy costs. Yet, despite knowing that, for many British homeowners, insulation remains a source of problems. Old properties are prone to insulation issues. Similarly, even new builds can come with insulation inadequacies. So where should you focus your attention? As a rule of thumb, you want to focus your effort on the areas that are the most likely to drop your indoor temperatures by letting a lot of cold air in: the underroof area and the attached garage. More often than not, these areas can lack substantial insulation, which will inevitably result in heat loss!
#7. Maintain clean gutter for optimal roof health
Clogged gutters can lead to stagnant water on your roof. In the long term, the water can gradually seep into your home and affect the temperature. This is precisely why it is so important to keep your gutter maintained so you can remove buildups and debris that would cause rainwater to overflow. Stagnant water puddles on the roof can infiltrate the underroof insulation, which doesn’t only affect the indoor temperature but also your underroof structure. Those are risks you do not want to take.
#8. Use flooring to your advantage
Certain flooring solutions, such as concrete, have the ability to absorb heat from direct sunlight. Once absorbed, the warmth is released gradually throughout your home, which contributes to regulating your indoor temperature in winter.
That’s precisely why your flooring solution can make a huge difference that goes beyond the look and feel of the room. While carpeted flooring may seem warmer in theory, floorings that contribute to the heating mix of your home are a much more effective option.
#9. Implement controlled ventilation
While this may seem counterintuitive, regularly opening your windows to renew the air can actually help keep your home warm in winter. Indeed, fresh air is a lot easier to warm, which means your heating system operates more efficiently. Additionally, renewing the air also removes pollutants and the dryness of already heated air.
As a rule of thumb, you want to ventilate your home at least once a day, opening all windows for 30 minutes to one hour.
#10. Embrace the cosiness of house slippers
House slippers offer more than just a touch of comfort — they keep your feet warm, which in turn can help you feel warmer overall. By preventing heat loss through your feet, house slippers can ensure you feel comfortable at home this winter. Do they change the actual temperature inside your home? Of course not. But by making you feel more comfortable and helping your body regulate its own temperature, house slippers ensure you may not need to turn up the thermostat as frequently as you otherwise would.
#11. Smart technology and automated sensors
Modern smart home hubs utilise sensors and automation features to regulate indoor temperature intelligently. These systems adapt to your preferences and the changing climate, so they can optimise your heating system’s efficiency. Homeowners who use smart home tech have reported achieving a consistent and comfortable indoor temperature without increasing their energy bills. In fact, all smart home users have noticed substantial energy savings!
This is due to the way smart technology relies on data input from sensor and historical data to constantly make adjustments to the indoor temperature management system.
#12. Balance humidity level
Humidity levels play a vital role in your home comfort. Dry air can make you feel colder than the actual temperature is, which can lead to discomfort and increased energy costs. So, you want to make sure you can keep your indoor moisture levels balanced, using a humidifier to reduce air dryness.
In conclusion, there is more than one way to make your home feel comfortably warm this winter without necessarily yanking the thermostat to the maximum. Hopefully, you’ll find these few tips useful when it comes to making your indoor cosy and inviting during the winter months!
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