When you think of home, it’s likely that you think of somewhere warm, cozy, and comfortable. The kind of place you want to return to after a long day. In winter months, nothing shatters the illusion of your own little piece of paradise like a home that loses heat. It’s no fun being cold in your own home, and it’s even less fun paying higher energy bills for the privilege.
If your home is losing heat and you don’t know what to do about it, check out these 8 tips to prevent heat loss in your home this winter.
Insulate Your Walls
The number one cause of heat loss in a home is poor insulation, with around 35% of all heat loss occurring through the walls. This is largely due to the fact that the exterior of the house is cold, and over time, a natural heat exchange will occur. Most houses are built with cavities to slow this process down, though they’re not always properly insulated. Fitting new insulation in your walls is no easy task, and it typically involves tearing down the interior drywall, adding insulation, and replacing the drywall, which will then need to be redecorated. However, some professional modern solutions are less invasive and can involve removing a smaller section and spraying insulation inside the entire wall.
Check Your Windows and Doors
A lot of heat is lost from your home via the doors and windows. Single pane windows are a top offender, and switching to double pane windows is highly recommended to prevent huge amounts of heat escaping. It’s also a good idea to check on any weatherstripping in your doors and windows, replacing if it’s old or damaged. Check outside for cracks in the caulk, and make sure there are no gaps around any of the frames. Inside, think about fitting some thick curtains on your windows; this can do wonders for keeping the heat inside. Finally, lay a draft excluder in any exterior doors, and consider fitting heavier duty exterior doors that seal shut.
Fix up Your Floors
Heat can also be lost through your floors, especially if you have large gaps in the floorboards. Laying carpet is a relatively quick, easy, and affordable fix, though it doesn’t suit all homes. Large rugs can also help, though if you prefer the look of a bare, hardwood floor it might not be the best choice for you. For other surfaces, you might consider fitting underfloor heating, which works especially well in tiled rooms, and encourages heat to emanate upwards, and directly into your body.
Check Out the Attic and Basement
Insulation plays an important role in the attic and the basement. The attic is particularly important to fix up, since heat rises. Not insulating your attic efficiently can lead to huge heat loss, so it’s important to get up there and fit quality insulation. While you’re there, it’s a good idea to check for any leaks, and fix them up as well. In the basement, insulation is often neglected, leading to the space becoming cold and drawing heat away from the rest of the home. It’s worth insulating both the walls and floors.
Block Unused Chimneys
If you have a chimney that isn’t being used, it can be an open door for heat to escape through. Have it professionally blocked to prevent heat from escaping while keeping the attractive fireplace in top condition.
Cover Unused Vents
Like unused chimneys, old vents from HVAC systems can also pull heat out of your home and let the cold air in. Again, these should be professionally blocked and insulated to prevent further heat loss. It’s also a good idea to look at the vents that are in use, and check for any gaps. If you find any, you can normally fill them quickly and easily using expanding foam.
Add a Timed Extractor Fan
An extractor fan in the bathroom or kitchen is a useful tool, but if you forget to turn it off, it can soon chill your house right down. Take a load off your mind, and fit a timed extractor fan instead. These will automatically cut out after 15 minutes or so, ensuring they’re never left on for hours on end by accident.
Taking care of your radiators is another great way to prevent heat loss. It’s important to bleed your radiators at the beginning of the season, to ensure they’re working efficiently. If not, they can develop cold spots, and only heat up at a fraction of their potential. Fitting a shelf above a radiator not only provides extra storage space, but also redirects the heat into the room, rather than letting it rise to the ceiling. Radiator shelves that clip onto most radiator models are readily available and extremely easy to fit and remove as needed.
Apart from the general maintenance tasks that help keep your home in top condition, these 8 tips go straight to the heart of the problem, ensuring your bills don’t go through the roof while your home loses heat. A quick check-up followed by these easy to implement solutions will keep your home warm and cozy.