warm-your-home

How to winter-proof your home (without breaking the bank)

Rates and Fees verified correct on December 3rd, 2016

Efficient and affordable ways to turn up the heat this winter.

As we enter the cooler months, now is a prime time to start thinking about how you can create extra warmth throughout your home.

While we don’t all have the luxury of investing in hydronic underfloor heating, ducted central heating, or lush in-built fireplaces, here are some ways that you can improve the thermal performance of your home without breaking the bank.

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Aspect and sunlight

If you’re in the market to buy a new property, consider the aspect of your home. Typically, the most sought-after aspect is north or north-east as this direction creates a greater flow of natural sunlight. It helps to have frequently used areas, such as the living room or kitchen facing north as this creates a sense of spaciousness and warmth.

However, if you can’t choose the aspect of your home, then use the direction or position of your property to select your glazing or insulation methods. For instance, east-facing windows normally receive the morning sun so choose your glazing based on the amount of sunlight you want in these areas. To make the most of your aspect, consider using neutral coloured paint on walls and ceilings or install skylights that point north.

Open your windows and curtains during the day and then close your curtains at night to optimise heat retention. Natural sunlight can help air circulation in your home which can minimise mould and dampness.

Double glazing

Double-glazed windows and doors are an energy efficient solution which are designed to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. The sealed air gap situated between the panes serves as an extra layer of insulation which reduces the amount of heat escaping.

Depending on the location of your property, you may be required to install double-glazed windows if you’re building a new home.

Keep in mind that double-glazing can help you manage the property temperature and energy usage, and it can also influence your level of noise pollution, UV damage and security.

Heavy curtains

If you can’t afford double glazing, then it’s worth investing in floor-length thermal curtains to keep your home cosy during the winter months. Heavy curtains that fall below the window frame will insulate your windows to retain heat. However, if you don’t want to splash out on thermal curtains, then you can line the curtains with inexpensive material yourself, such as cheap fleece.

Circulation

There are two main types of ducted ceiling systems including the heat transfer system which takes heated air from high-traffic areas and circulates it to cooler parts of the house, and roof space ventilation systems’ that relies on heating forming in the roof cavity which is circulated to other areas of the home.

Speak to your builder or insulation specialist about the best method for your home.

To eliminate moisture in your home, consider investing in an extractor fan for the bathroom and a range hood in the kitchen.

Close the doors

An easy way to maintain heat is to close the doors for rooms that are not being used. This will allow you to heat high-traffic areas such as hallways or the living room more efficiently.

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Image: Shutterstock

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at finder.com.au. Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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